1963-11-28 - Not so Good an Idea
Summary: Lorna saves a man from getting run over..
Related: None
Theme Song: None
lorna seth 


Lorna had returned to the Frost Institute for her regularly scheduled classes after the Thanksgiving Break had ended. A return to training and classes, classes and training. And now Jean was no longer living in the dorms, but had moved out somewhere entirely off campus. A pout crossed Lorna's features as she walked along Midtown, a bag slung over her shoulder.

At least Hope had moved into Jean's space, even if it hurt the brunette a bit that Jean hadn't bothered to give her a heads up that she wasn't coming back.

A sigh pulled from her lips, green eyes drifting downwards as she headed back to the bus stop. Shopping had been her immediate choice of a pick me up, choosing to get off campus for a breather. Still, that meant trying to find a place to park or the bus. Which, given this was New York City, the bus was the more affordable option.

Still, it was a hike to the bus stop, and when she got there she was less than enthused by the concept of waiting for however long it would take for the bus to arrive.

*

Gotta get that cash, gotta make that hustle.

The screeching tires and insults hurled at the youth rippled off his back like water on a duck's wing, all leather and grease and canvas swirling between vehicles on the stop lights and beginning to wash their windows.

"Just a dolla', Just a dolla!"

Was his argument, when the poor bastards tried to wave him off, polishing the hubcaps when they turned on the wipers, a cheeky grin on his lips over teeth with a yellow cast that didn't match the rest of his features. From the corner of his mouth hooked a cigarette, puffed at in whisps like a train powering his engine. When each car was done, he would continue to block the passage of the vehicle, while the rising crescendo of cars backed up behind the victim until the driver finally relented and flipped him a nickle, a quarter, maybe a full dollar.

If they stiffed him, he made sure to drag the edge of the coin along the outside of the paint job.

Scoundrel, soaked, and shivering he may be; but Seth knew how to work it and not even the rising ire of a man perched behind the impressive steering wheel of a Mustang was going to dissuade him.

*

Lorna watched the man dip and duck between traffic none too far from the bus stop, her hands curled around a book on her lap that she'd been /trying/ to read. Still, she sat, absorbed in almost utter horror at the sight of the young man nearly getting hit as various cars tried to either get around him or revved their engines at him. A delicate hand pressed over her lips as she watched, her eyes rounding slightly as she half sensed, half saw, him scratch a line down the paint of one of the nicer automobiles.

The trouble with sensing metal and magnetic fields in a city, she could feel it as a dull buzz at the back of her head constantly. Especially the more and more she started to practice with her powers.

*

And perhaps he wasn't a good person. The way he held his head, but skulked with his shoulders, the practiced art of the con that was obviously perfected through repetition; all of these things could color an observers opinion of Seth's character. Not to mention his jeans were frayed and faded, his jacket patched over holes that could have come from any manner of weapon, stitched by hand in quick little jots of red or blue thread, whatever was lying around.

Yet he was still human. Or close enough.

Thus it took a special kind of awful to suddenly rev the engine and accelerate into him. The Mustang driver had warned the youth, but an honest stumble backwards sent Seth sprawling in front of the bumper instead of twirling artfully off to one side. With squeegee in one hand, and the filthy bucket water soaking him to the bone, his blue eyes blinked as the driver applied the gas.

This time, the car was in drive.

*

Someday soon, you'll be able to lift cars.

Her father had said those very words no more than a month ago. A week ago, she was lifting metal tables.

Perhaps the grounding ring that Doctor Strange had given her, really had had a profound impact on her ability to grasp control of her powers. Perhaps that was why she thought nothing of reaching out with her hand toward the fallen boy and /held/ the car in which the tires squealed and threatened to run over the urchin boy. Or perhaps she'd found that stability in her own mind after Emma Frost had brought it to her attention in training.

Whatever the reason, it was enough and the car squealed and pulled, but did not lift an inch further. Not under her grasp. Even with her heart pumping in her veins, and she could hear the roar of the engine, could /feel/ the metal in the car start to crunch as she clenched her hands…

She loosened her control a smidge, her eyes narrowed as she concentrated on /not/ crushing the car and the hateful man behind the wheel.

*

Seth blinks.

It's not a particularly elegant grace that brings him to his feet. After he picks up the cigarette that had fallen from his open mouth, of course. Pressing the small butt back between his lips, he takes a long drag and really appreciates that he's not dead for a moment. Instead of moving out of the way. The sound of metal beginning to crunch reminds him that there's a car in question, and after snubbing out his cigarette, he steps around the driver's side.

Without hesitation, the door is opened before the startled man has enough sense to lock it. The spry frame of the gutter trash is suddenly a sinuous and hard thing, all edges and angles as he drags the man out after cutting his seatbelt with a flick of his wrist. The glint of metal and bone suggests a knife at play.

Unceremoniously, the bruised and soaked mutant considers the enemy. And the knees him in the groin with an audible,

"You were going to run me the fuck over? Huh? Big man now that you're outta that car? Too bad that money can't buy you something that accelerates. Gotta shift the gears, ya' fucking clod."

*

Well that was unexpected, both ways. Lorna for once, did /not/ expect the young man to take his sweet time getting up and out of the way. Nor expect him to then go to the driver's side door and pull the man out of his vehicle and start beating him.

Her concentration shattered and the car was left to be free once again from her clutches. Yet without the driver on the gas, it merely sat there, having spent its energy under Lorna's command.

Still, she couldn't abide /anyone/ getting hurt, and in a heartbeat she was rushing out of the bus stop toward the two. "Hey! Leave him alone!" She called. And what a sight would Seth have to spot coming his way but the most All-American girl you could imagine.

Brown hair was swept up into a high ponytail, tied with a ribbon, a grey turtle neck matched with a plaid skirt of burgundy hues and gold. And to top it all off, a Frost Institute jacket emblazoned with the school's logo.

"Stop it! Let him go! He's sorry, okay?"

*

Of course somebody was coming to this asshole's rescue. Assuming Seth had been hit by a vehicle, maybe there would have been an effort by a passerby to phone it in, but he wasn't in the mood to ponder his value to society. The initial blow had leveled the businessman to the ground, a gasping high whine escaping in place of air as he writhed. Another flick of his wrist, and the blade that had been there disappeared into whatever pocket it had been birthed from while his startlingly blue eyes rose to regard who was approaching.

Not the fuzz. Good.

Seth waited until the man uncurled just a tad, and then sent his boot toe slamming into the gut, just below the ribs. A mess of sick sprayed out over the asphalt, and now others were screaming at him to stop, the picture begging for a hero. A passing glance saw only a car-theft, a brutal youth attempting to kill the prone businessman, appropriate narratives given this part of the city and how they were attired. Nobody would look close enough to notice how careful Seth's aim had been to avoid a rib.

Stepping over the vomit and the heaving, sobbing wreck of his would-be murderer, the blonde readjusted his jacket and ran fingers through grease-stained hair that had come unraveled from the tie in fall to the ground. Shoving his hands into his pockets, he strode calmly away from the scene of the crime, making sure to check the approaching college co-ed with his shoulder and a, "Fuck off, yeah?"

What a peach.

*

Lorna could feel the knife that Seth kept, could feel infact, every once of metal on the young, greasy, man before her. Yet she still recoiled her hand back as he swore at her and made to leave the scene. Rather than pull back entirely however, her expression hardened and she swooped in after him. An offended huff of a breath escaping her as she chased after the sour faced blonde.

"HEY!" She called, trotting along beside him with short, quick steps. "That man almost ran you over, and he'd have hit you. But /killing/ him is not going to keep you out of jail. Are you an idiot or something?" She snapped back at him, brows pinched and red in the face.

"Why didn't you get out of the way immediately? Why play chicken with your life?"

*

Seth did not respond at first, instead piloting his now shadowed stride down the sidewalk just a tick until a dark alley presented itself. Then he slipped into the space between buildings with as much fluidity as one may expect from a rat, stepping over discarded bottles and crushing trash underfoot as he waited for the girl to stop following him. She didn't. The cold made his fingers shake as he pulled another cigarette out of his jacket, putting it between his lips and glaring down the line of it as he finally came to a stop. He couldn't get the lighter to light. Something that was probably an expletive flew from his lips before he snarled,

"Wasn' gonna kill him. Didn' even hurt him all that much. He's just bein' a lil' bitch."

The chill was spreading, from soaked clothes up through his legs, his hands beginning to twitch as he struggled to light the lighter. Two. Three. Four times. Pretty soon he abandoned the effort, stowing the cigarette trying to hug his frame tighter in an effort to conserve warmth as he turned to keep walking. The other question went ignored. No reason to tell this woman he would have liquefied under the hood, appearing unharmed on the other side. There really wasn't a reason to tell anyone that.

*

A huff, and a wince as Lorna stalked after him, her hands curled into fists at her sides. Her jaw squared stubbornly. "Don't be an idiot! Geeze louise, watch your mouth too! You could've been killed if I hadn't.." She trailed off, her nose wrinkling up as she finally registered she'd stalked down an alley way to chide a strange, likely, homeless man that reeked.

A pause and she swallowed, her gaze darting around her warily and she glanced down at the puddle of /something/ at her feet.

*

"Well shit, aren't you precious?"

Seth practically purred, looking over a shoulder with all the malice he had just beat a man with still glittering in his eyes. As he surveyed this long-legged brunette that had so innocently trailed him into this corner of filth, the violence settled somewhere deeper behind the iris' and left only a rather cold looking man of her approximate age. A tongue drew over chapped lips as he continued with a wicked sort of curiosity to his tone, as if he was already puzzling out the verbal misstep and simply hadn't discerned how to best take advantage of it.

"If you hadn't? What?"

Eyebrows raised, and he took a step towards her, his intention indiscernible though it made a threatening picture. Sour tobacco and cheap alcohol clung to him in a stale musk, somewhere underneath that brutal edge something that could have been handsome had life not honed it so. Then he stilled, the distant wail of police sirens breaking into their little moment of solitude with all the subtlety of a distant choir. He smiled, and dipped a bow that was sarcastic in nature.

" Seth, at your future service for your courageous misdeeds. But, you will have to steal your kiss later. My fan club arrives."

With that, he took a few steps back before turning and hitching up and on top of a trash bin. Balancing on the edge, he grabbed the bottom rungs of a fire escape ladder, and climbed them run over rung until reaching the scaffolding. Then without a second glance backwards, he disappeared into the rooftops and the encroaching darkness.

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