1963-10-28 - Impluse Control
Summary: Lorna takes the turn to the Xavier Institute rather than drive home and seeks out Erik.
Related: Lorna logs
Theme Song: Rules by Jayme Dee
magneto lorna 


Lorna had had her powers, and her emotions under control so far as speaking to Emma Frost was concerned. Yet it wasn't until Friday night, when the other students talked of going out and enjoying themselves, did Lorna consider the idea of not following Emma's directives. As she shoved her clothes into her trunk and slammed it shut her hand stilled on the metal top and she frowned.

Wait until Emma thinks it safe and then wait for testing..

The thought rattled around her head and Lorna could not help but turn it over and over in her mind. So it was, that the young freshman, or soon to be freshman, found herself turning away from the exits that led to Upstate New York, to see her /adoptive/ parents. Who had lied to her, her entire life, and instead steer the fifteen year old car off the highway to the route that she knew would lead the the Xavier Institute.

It was an impluse, at least, mostly. But the metal vehicle shuddered beneath her hands as she steered it. Perhaps it was because she lacked the control she had thought she had, or perhaps the torrent of emotions tormented her well beyond what she had demonstrated to Miss Frost previously.

Whatever it was, it had Lorna turned onto the drive, the road, and onto the paved drive way of the Xavier Institute. Her car crawled to a stop and she stared at the house light in the late evening, her stomach flip flopping as she stared at it. Then she tore her gaze away, away from the house that might house the man that had sired her, and pressed her head against the steering column.

"This is stupid, I shouldn't be here.." She mumbled, closing her eyes against the swirl of emotions, and power that leaked from her person. The car around her crunching and rattling in ways that would scare practically anyone else away.

*

"All of the weather forecasts have suggested that there will be rain for the weekend." Erik Lensherr is walking along with one of the school administrators. He's dressed properly, in spite of the hour; a cardigan worn over a nice dress shirt, and the usual slacks and loafers. He did remove the bow tie around 5:00, as a matter of symbol.

"Either way, I think it best we cancel the match for tomorrow," he tells the administrator. "Considering the bite in the air, I wouldn't be surprised if it opened up ton…"

"Mister Lensherr! Miss Cunningham!!"

The voice comes from a younger student, who comes rushing into the hallway from where he'd been spying on the new arrival up front. "Mister Lensherr, it's rattling and shaking and all screwed up!!"

"Mind your language, young Mister Larson," Erik scolds the boy. "We'll use proper adjectives. This isn't a locker room. Now, tell me again what—"

"Come on!" The boy grabs Erik by the belt and tugs him toward the foyer. "Come on!!!"

With an exacerbated sigh, Erik looks to Miss Cunningham. "We'll continue this talk later, but please-" He grunts as the boy tugs him away. "- con, consider my suggestion!"

*

Lorna hadn't moved from her car, though she had turned it off as she stared at morosely out at the school. The tall building far too intimidating to draw a mostly tearful young girl out of her car. At least for the moment. Even then the magnetic powers she held rattled the metal around her, shaking the mirrors and everything else around her. She was essentially encased in metal, and hugged it close as possible without damaging her car, it was a comfort, to feel the entirety of iron and steel around her and /know/ that she could pull it tight and nothing, well close to nothing, could touch her.

Still, eventually, she seemed to come to terms with the idea of actually leaving the car. After all, what was the point of sitting and crying in the parking lot of the Xavier Institute as opposed to the Frost Institute?

So perhaps it was by some miracle that Lorna pulled herself, staggering, out of the driver's seat and made her way to the door. But still, she couldn't bring herself to knock. It was such a foolish thing, but here she was. Disobeying orders from her teacher Miss Frost. Being impulsive, something she'd never been, lying to the people that had adopted her, much as they had lied to /her/, and standing awkwardly on the front porch.

Tears stung her eyes and she shivered convulsively, whatever else was metal around her rattling along with each movement she made. She was so close to losing control. Oh so close. But she had yet to completely lose herself to her misery.

Somehow, she found the strength to ring the door bell. Just once.

*

The ringing of the doorbell is suddenly muted, thanks to a magnetic pulse that bends from the front door and stills the unsettled pulses coming from Lorna. A much more powerful, or at least better practiced manipulation. It comes a moment before the door unlatches and swings open, revealing Erik in the doorway with a wide eyed Billy Larson hunched down behind him.

"Miss Dane," he says. "What on Earth has…"

Erik pauses then, upon seeing the stains upon the young woman's cheeks. His lips press into a thin line, and he stands there silently, until a blast of cold air blows across the grounds and cuts through him. "Good grief. You'd best come inside, if you drove all this way." He gestures to the grounds. "There's a cold front moving in, a bit earlier than the papers predicted I'm afraid."

And so, Erik steps aside and motions for Lorna to enter. The door would have swung shut, but an invisible force is holding it open.

*

The opening of the door doesn't seem to jar her too terribly, but she practically stumbles inside, rubbing at red rimmed eyes as she sniffled. She bowed her head, brown hair tumbling over her shoulder and into her features which she brushed irritatedly away from her. Even as her gaze darted up to scan over one Erik Lensherr's features critically. Her gaze barely brushing over Billy's presence before it snapped back to the metal manipulator before her.

As her lips parted to respond nothing more than a hiccup escaped her lips, her eyes rounding briefly in surprise and she clamped a hand over her lips. Her green eyes roaming around the front entrance and back to him briefly.

"I'm s-scared.. I-I'm going to l-lose control." She mumbled, "I.. I don't know who else to talk to.." A whimper, and more tears welled up from her eyes. Her powers flaring up and cutting out erratically in response to her attempts to control herself and cry.

"I-I.. I.. I don't know what to do.. I'm apparently a-ad-dopted.." She stuttered over the word, and as she said it her power flared in response.

"I didn't know." Her voice was small, lost, and green eyes lingered on him as if he might have the answers she desperately sought. Might have some small measure of comfort for the revelation that had shook up her whole world

*

At the first sign of erratic magnetic manipulation, Erik does what he does best. An instinct, really, but with a simple motion of his hand, a powerful electromagnetic sphere envelops the both of them. It's visible in the way the air distorts around them, causing Billy Larson's hair to stick up and become pulled toward the sphere out of sheer static cling.

"Mister Larson," he tells the boy, without taking his eyes off Lorna. "One, you shouldn't have been out of your dormitory in the first place. Two, it's time you ran along, back to your dormitory."

There's a sternness to Erik's tone that is not to be argued with. The boy looks from Erik to Lorna, then back to Erik, before squeaking. "Y-yes, Mister Lensherr!"

As Billy scampers off, Erik gestures toward the visible distortion in the air. "This is an electromagnetic buffer. It will protect the rest of the building from… anything that happens. I am drawing slightly from currents that run in the lights, which might explain why the room has suddenly grown dimmer. Not to worry." A thin smile. "I could do this in my sleep." He gestures then toward a pair of chairs that sit on either side of a table on the other end of the foyer, not yet commenting on Lorna's babbling admissions. "Would you care to sit?"

*

A small noise of relief escapes Lorna at the feeling of the electromagnetic field that suppressed her fledgling powers that rioted from her control. Fresh tears escaped her as she inhaled a strangled breath and seemed to loosen ever so much more than she had previously. Especially as Billy scampers off to the dorms and away from her and Mister Lensherr.

Lorna wastes no time in taking him up on the offer of having a seat, folding in on herself as she rubbed at her eyes and sniffled weakly. "Sorry.." She mumbled, ducking her head and avoiding meeting Erik's eyes.

"I don't .. I don't want to hurt anyone.. and I-I was .. I don't know what to do.." Her voice was hardly a whisper as she babbled onwards.

"I'm sorry." She repeated, drawing her knees up and hugging her arms around them tightly, as if it might halt the wave of emotions she finally felt safe enough to release, without fear of destroying the world around her. She shuddered, a roll of her shoulders following as she squeezed her eyes shut and a choked sound escaped her lips.

*

"Miss Cunningham," Erik addresses the administrator, who as it turns out was hunkered in the shadows near one of the hallways. "Please be kind enough to fetch us two glasses and a pitcher of water?"

Erik then joins Lorna at the seat across from her. The magnetic field follows them, shimmering a bit any time her powers lose a bit of their control. Some nails that came loose from the floorboards secure themselves back into the place, with a subtle look from Erik's eyes.

"You're not the only person to cross this threshold looking for answers," he tells her, with a tone much quieter and more friendly. No, not quite friendly; more empathetic.

"I don't want to hurt anyone, either," he tells her. "What happened at the museum was… unusual, and I'm afraid I have as many answers for that as I might have for you. I'm assuming that's what brought you here, Miss Dane? Questions, which you need answered?"

*

A vigorous nod of her head follows his words, and she sniffled, wiping her head against the sleeve of her arm as she peered at him from over top her knees. She swallowed a hard lump in her throat, shifting uncomfortably as she settled further back into the chair. Her powers seized whatever metal was in the area, twisting and bending and pulling toward her as if she was wrapping a blanket around herself, only to be subdued by his own more precise manipulations into their proper places.

"Y-yes.." She whispered, blinking back a fresh wave of tears.

"A-and that I-I knew y-you'd s-stop me f-from hu-hurting a-anything." A whimper followed and she hung her head, dropping those watery green eyes back to her lap.

A hiccup followed, and she didn't seem able to stop.

"I-I.. I don't know what to do. I-I'm scared. An-and every… everything that I-I knew.. it.. it's not true. I-I.. I'm sorry.." She choked out, tears welling up in her eyes.

*

Erik turns away when Miss Cunningham returns with water. He beckons her over, encouraging her to step through the sphere. Yes, whatever metal she had on her moves a bit, but he's quick to snatch the glass wear away and allow her a departure.

"Here," he says, and pours Lorna a glass. "Drink this." He pours himself a glass next, then settles in with a strong posture, hands folded in his lap.

"After you departed," Erik says, "Doctor MacTaggert and I discussed… potential solutions. It's not uncommon for 'abilities' like ours to be shared outside of ancestry. Why, two of my closest friends have telepathic and telekinetic abilities, and they share no relation whatsoever. There are tests, of course, which can be done, but…" He holds out a hand, forming a staying gesture. "I wouldn't want to get too far ahead of ourselves."

Erik takes a drink of water, then settles his intensive gaze upon Lorna. "You told us that someone was helping you? With your abilities?"

*

Lorna reaches out with both hands, clasping the glass close as she sipped at it carefully, coughing as she inhaled it too quickly. A grimace pulled at her lips as she ducked her gaze. "I know.." Her voice was barely a whisper, "I just.." Her voice broke and she sniffled again, rubbing her nose against the back of her sleeve.

"My teacher.. she.. she can read minds. That's.. that's how she knew .. how she found out about .. about.." She gestured to herself and hung her head, averting her watery eyes.

"She told me not to come here. That she'd handle it. That she'd make sure it was /safe/ and that she'd handle any testing.. But.. but I just… I was /scared/ and upset. And you said you were in control…" She mumbled, rubbing at her eyes this time as her voice climbed an octave.

"I don't even think its possible tha-that.. I mean.. we're.. we're related? Apparently I'm.. I'm from Poland.. just.. just after the war.. They … my parents.. who knows who they are? They might be dead, more than likely.." She whispered.

*

Curiosity is spiked when Lorna speaks of her teacher. Describing her as one who can read minds. There are slim few, and Erik knows of some who do not call the Institute their home. He makes no remark.

Whatever else may be rolling around in his mind, it becomes quieted when she speaks of Polish heritage. At this, he visibly stiffens. Looking down, he lifts the glass and takes a long drink, after which the item comes to rest gracefully upon one knee.

"Europe was torn to pieces after the war," he tells her, quietly. "Many of us lost things. My parents…" A pause, a flash of something dark in his eyes. "They were taken from me."

He does not elaborate, nor does he speak of his Polish and Jewish heritage. All signs of his internment remain safely hidden beneath the sleeves of his shirt and cardigan.

"Let me show you something."

Erik rises, leaving his glass of water upon the table. His hands come out to either side of himself. There is a rumbling in the floorboards; a few nails pop loose, but then, the magnetic field begins to lift him off the ground.

"The strongest magnetic force you are in contact with is generated by the Earth itself. It is an effect of solar radiation impacting our atmosphere, where it becomes polarized, and creates a buffer that keeps harmful things out. This field, invisible though it may seem to you, Miss Dane, is the very thing that fuels your abilities. There." He gestures toward her, and the magnetic field comes close to her proximity. "Do you feel it?"

*

Lorna stares at him as he spoke, and she fell silent, biting her lower lip as she shifted her grip on the glass. As she spoke of what was lost in Europe her stomach plummeted and she hugged her knees closer. A lump in her throat formed and she slowly leaned forward as the subject changed and she spoke of /showing/ her something.

Her lips parted and her eyes rounded, tears forgotten as he rose and lifted his hands. A gasp fell from her lips as he lifted from the floor and the nails popped from the floorboards. As he spoke, and pushed outward she /felt/ exactly what he spoke of. Her eyes widened and she clapped a hand over her lips in surprise.

"Y-Yes.. I-I.. I had no idea." Her voice was small, lost and she stared at him openly. "I.. wow.." Her lips parted, her mouth hanging open as she felt around with her powers, prodding and distracting herself from her thoughts.

*

"What you can do, Lorna, I suspect is far beyond what you have thus far comprehended," Erik tells her. "The first step in understanding your ability is not to be frightened by it."

He grins, and nods toward her glass of water. "You might want to set that down."

Erik gives her a moment to do so, before folding the magnetic field around her, much as he has himself. "Every object interacts with this magnetic field. Humans, a bit moreso, l suspect due to the iron in our blood. Now, I haven't quite discovered how to levitate another person, but… if you clear your mind of all your questions, you'll instead be able to feel the magnetic forces as I bind them to you. Do you feel them?"

*

Lorna did as directed, setting the glass of water on the end table, her brows held high as she settled back onto the seat readily enough. She scooted forward, tears and torrented emotions forgotten in the desire to listen and learn. Brown hair bobbed from her high ponytail down her back as she practically wiggled in her seat.

As the field slipped over her she gasped, clapping both hands over her lips as she felt the field slip over her figure. Her eyes were impossibly wide already and she stared at him and a small nod followed.

"I can try." She mumbled, closing her eyes as she inhaled and exhaled a breath, pulling her powers around her tighter than they previously roamed. She had felt the magnetic field around her, now she simply had delve deeper into what her powers were. She pulled her legs beneath her, sitting upwards on her knees on the chair as she searched and struggled for a long moment, before she finally locked onto what had been described.

"Alright. I.. I think I've got it..?"

*

"Well, don't think that you have it," Erik tells her, a smile hiding beneath the instructing tone he's adopted. "Know that you have it. Now, all you have to do is direct it upwards." A pause. "Don't worry; if you overdo it, I'll keep you from putting a hole in the ceiling."

Erik continues to float, but his attention is now wholly split; focused not only on the field he's enveloped around himself, but upon the field introduced to Lorna.

*

A flush crossed over Lorna's features as Erik gently chided her over knowing verses thinking. Then she was shifting in her seat again, holding her hands out in mimicry of him. Then she rolls her shoulders back and tries to focus. Her brows furrow as she struggles for several long moments to be sure she found what he spoke of.

And then suddenly she's floating upwards, wiggling awkwardly in the air as a surprised noise escaped her.

"It's working! I'm doing it!"

The metal in the room creaked as she grabbed at it to balance herself against the magnetic field that he had shown her. And then she was over stretching, over pulling herself this way and that like a child trying to walk for the first time.

A yelp escaped her as she tumbled head over heels and dropped back to the floor with sharp 'oof'.

*

There is a severe sort of focus upon Erik's face when she pulls off the proverbial heist. He does not, however, interfere when she tumbles, nor does he prevent her from falling. Instead, he lowers himself slowly back to the floor, and allows the protective field to drop.

"You wouldn't believe how many bumps and bruises I've sustained trying to hone my craft," he tells her, before grinning widely. "Then, there was the time I instructed my best friend to put a gun to my head, convinced I could stop the bullet. Fortunately…" He walks to the table and reclaims their glasses. "… he refused to pull the trigger. I can stop bullets, mind, but not at point blank range."

A beat.

"Yet."

Erik crouches down and offers the glass of water before offering a hand. "Are you hurt badly?"

*

Lorna had face planted rather solidly, but sat up just as quickly, a small 'ow' escaping her as she rubbed her forehead where a shiner was forming. A grimace twisted her lips as her gaze lifted to follow him to the table and back as he held out the glass of water in hand. He had successfully distracted her from losing control of her emotions and her powers, while training her at the same time, bumps included.

A sheepish smile pulled at her lips as she accepted the glass with one hand as the other rubbed at the reddened skin of her forehead. "I'm okay, just surprised.. and yeah it stings, but I'll be okay." She mumbled, pulling herself up to stand with a grin.

"That was so far out though! I didn't know I could do those things! It's so totally cool! I mean, I've been practicing not doing things, and like small stuff, like pulling paper clips to me, or bending a spoon or stuff. But nothing like that!" She chirped, practically bouncing on her toes as she looked up at him with wonder.

Her eyes rounding again at his mention of blocking bullets. "Wow.." Her voice was breathless, with wonder and amazement at his plans to stop bullets, that he /could/ stop them at all was impressive to her.

*

"Well, you don't want to be using baby steps your whole life, do you?" asks Erik.

He reclaims his seat, studying the bump on her head for a moment while taking a drink from his water. "Now, I'd like for you to listen to me. A bit of advice. Miss Dane, there are many questions that you'd like answers to. I can tell you that I understand this all too well. However, these answers don't come easily."

He gestures toward her with the glass in hand. "I think it may be prudent that I drive you back to the place where you currently call home, and have a talk with your instructor. Considering you championed yourself away under circumstances I presume were not with blessing, this would be for the best." A pause. "And you'll hold a bag of ice on that bruise the entire way. Fair?"

*

Another flush followed as she made her way back to her chair and settled back down. Her teeth worrying her lower lip and biting off skin there. A nervous habit. Then she was rubbing the back of her neck, averting her gaze from him. "I was .. I was supposed to drive north.. to see.." She hesitated.. "Well, the people that raised me.. I was told I should talk to /them/.. since.. they … they kept from me that they'd.. that they'd adopted me." She whispered.

"But I was .. It was partly impulse, but also because I was scared… I just.." She sighed, a heavy, great one as she snuck a glance at him.

"I don't know who I am anymore.." Her voice was small and edged with tears. "She told me.. to wait.. to let her talk with you first.. She's a good teacher.. but.. I… she's not exactly the most comforting presence around.."

Another hanging of her head followed in which brown bangs fell into her gaze. She decidedly needed a trim. "I'll be okay." She added in regards to the ice, even if she reached up self consciously to press a hand against the lump forming there and winced.

*

"Then I think it's especially important that you go back to her," Erik answers decisively. "Tonight. You can always go and see your folks in the morning."

A few moments later, Erik joins Lorna in the foyer, compete with a bag of ice in one hand. The other stretches out, and the car keys fly from her person and into his outstretched hand.

"You can ride shotgun."

*

A pout pulled at her lips as she watched him leave and return with an ice pack in hand. A protest on her lips that she was just /fine/ to drive Upstate when he snagged the keys from her grip and she jumped after them with both hands. A yank following, clumsy, but with her powers. "Hey! That's not fair!"

The pull she exerted on the keys was nothing compared to Erik's control, but it was enough that it tugged her a few inches forward on the floor. "It's /my/ car, and I can drive just fine!" Another pout, as she crossed her arms and trailed off into mutters as she heaved a sigh as if she were much put upon.

If there was mutter about 'you're not even sure if you're my dad', it wasn't entirely imagined, even as she took the ice, grumbling all the way. Her powers dropping she gave up the struggle against the better trained metallic manipulator.

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