1963-12-09 - A Question of Responsibility
Summary: Lorna and Xavier have a talk about responsibility.
Related: Operational Failure
Theme Song: None
lorna xavier 

A sigh dragged from the teenager's lips as she wandered around the Institute's halls. While she didn't attend, by virtue of her father living there, she frequently found herself spending weekends there. A guest-room was quickly becoming her favored spot to sulk when she wasn't around Crystal or Erik, but this weekend she also had to prepare for finals. So after a few questions about where the library was, she found herself avoiding human company for that of paper and leather bound tomes.

The brunette had curled up with a few promising books a while ago, but after thirty minutes of staring at the same page, Lorna had to give up. A groan pulled from her lips, and she rubbed her temples, the chaos of the passed week running haywire through her thoughts.

Firstly the blow up with Jean, which had led to her storming off into Hell's Kitchen.. which led to her getting lost.. where she'd sensed her father's departure from the area and then gotten more upset.. and angry.. and then three people chasing her. Which.. her mind veered off and she curled up all the more.

Her father would /hate/ her wouldn't he? Miss Frost had said it was in self-defense, but after her father's rather heavy handed comment about forgiveness yesterday with Pietro and Wanda? She wasn't sure if she /could/ tell him. Never mind how freakish it was that Wanda was claiming /they/ were related and Pietro had been a vampire but no one seemed to care that he had bit her…

A gusty sigh escaped her and slouched in her seat. Her head hit the back of the bookshelf behind her and she yelped, rubbing the back with a wince.


"The downside of sturdy furniture," an accented voice remarks in a tone somewhere between light and apologetic. "Is your head alright?"

It seems she's not alone in the library after all, as someone at one of the far tables is craning around a pile of books to address her; someone she's seen in passing often enough, though they've rarely spoken directly; Charles Xavier.


A jump, and another grimace follows as Lorna quickly figures out that she wasn't as alone in the library as she'd first thought. Then, placing /who/ it was that was in the library she flushed, and rubbed the back of her head where she'd hit it. A sheepish smile crossing her features.

"Erm.. uh.. sorry." She mumbled, "I didn't know you were around Professor. Jean always said I project rather loudly.. I'd have tried to be uhm.. quieter.. if I'd known you were around." She rose, carefully shutting the borrowed book down on the side table.

"I.. uh.. I'm alright. Thank you.." She bit her lower lip, fidgeting. "I just.. was trying to get my research essay done for school.. and uh.. yeah.. it wasn't going so well.. I dunno. My Tata isn't even around so maybe I'll just head back to the Frost Institute.."


"It seemed as if you had more than enough to worry about already." the professor notes with a wan smile, still leaning on an elbow of the arm of his chair to better talk. "You're welcome to study here, by the way, that's one point at least you needn't worry about. Or welcome to talk, if you would like to at least." a delicate suggestion that yes, she might have projected a bit more than just her head hitting the bookshelf. Xavier has learned over the years not to push on such matters if people aren't comfortable with the things he sometimes ends up knowing. Though considering she knows Jean well enough, he at least makes the offer.


Lorna glances down at her feet, biting her lower lip as she fidgeted in place, rocking her weight back onto her heels and wringing her hands slightly. It took a long moment of silence, of mental struggle on if she should talk or not before she nodded and made her way over to the desk where the professor was sitting. A soft exhale followed and she glanced at him briefly and back down at her feet.

"I.. I just.. I don't know what to do. Miss Frost said that it was fine, that it was in self defense.. but.. /I/ feel guilty.. as if.. like.." She dragged her hands over her face and made an 'ugh' sound.

"I don't want my Tata to hate me.." She mumbled, her voice soft. "And I got /so/ angry and upset.. I felt like.. like I'm just an annoyance, or .. or that he's just humoring me. And he drove down to the Institute yesterday to try to spend time with me and all I could was sulk.. and I didn't get to even /explain/ why I was upset because I'm .. I'm just.." She shrugged, throwing her arms out to her sides and grimacing.

She was just scared. Terrified of disapointing Erik that she couldn't bring herself to share what had happened. There was resentment too, that he'd left her alone in Hell's Kitchen. All mixed in with lingering hurt at how Jean had told her to go home rather than help out.. She couldn't know that Jean had been angry at Erik, and so she took the blame onto herself.


The meandering explanation isn't interrupted, Xavier only sitting up straight in his seat when she's moved close enough to face without leaning, his hands folding in front on him on the table next to the book he himself had been perusing.

He listens, and when she pauses in her words he asks a simple question; "Why do you think he would hate you, Lorna?"


Green eyes flicker up to Xavier and she wraps her arms around her and then hangs her head. "Three people died because I used my powers to bring down a building around their heads.." Her voice was small, and she bit her lower lip hard.

"I was so angry.. I-I didn't think. I just tore the whole thing apart. I didn't think about how.. how there were innocent people outside that could've been hurt. I-I should've tried anything else.. He said he'd hurt people in Dallas on accident.. but.. but I did this on /purpose/… Miss Frost said it was in self defense.. but.." She bit her lower lip again, and blinked hard to tight back the tears that welled up in her eyes.

"What I did was /wrong/.. wasn't it?"


"It sounds as if you feel there's more to the matter than what miss Frost says." Charles remarks soberly. "I know you think very highly of Erik.. so I can't help but wonder if you worry he'll hate what you did because -you- hate what you did..?"


A small shrug and a half nod follows Xavier's words and she bit her lower lip. The young woman hung her head, worrying her lower lip. "I was angry.. and I used my powers.. and.. I.. I just.. Seth and Miss Frost told me that it wasn't that bad. That they were bad people that wanted to hurt me.. that it was in self defense.. but.." She glanced up at him, exhaling a long sigh as she pressed her hands against her cheeks and then up into her hair, which was once more dyed brown rather than its natural green.

"I feel like what I did was wrong. I killed three people because I brought that building apart. And I was angry when I did it.. a-and it was wrong. Wasn't it? To use my powers like that?" Her voice was small.


Sitting back in his chair a bit, Xavier says, "Well, perhaps it would be worth considering how you would feel had it been miss Frost or Seth or even Erik who had done such a thing?" Xavier asks. He has his own views of course, but it seems premature to start discussing them when Lorna herself still hasn't had a chance to really examine or untangle the knot she's got tangled inside of her yet.


Lorna squirmed at that question, one hand rubbing against her upper arm as she rocked her weight back onto her heels in thought. She took her time responding, considering and turning over her answer. "I think they'd have found a better solution.. Miss Frost wouldn't have killed anyone.. and Tata .. he can do so much more than I can and so much better.. And Seth's lived on the streets.. with those people around. But.. he had a knife and I guess by definition he was willing to do them harm too.." She winced.

"I feel like Tata and Miss Frost wouldn't have killed anyone.. and that .. that I should've been smarter or .. or better to not do so either.. 'cause.. like.." She exhaled a breath.

"I feel I'm just as bad as them.. for doing what I did.."


"Because you were responsible for those deaths, or because in that moment you didn't care if they should die?" Xavier asks, the newest question a blunt but important one, even if he offers it gently.


Again, Lorna bit her lower lip, chewing at the chapped skin there. "Both. Both, I guess." She swallowed a lump that had formed in her throat, green eyes lifting upwards to land on the Professor, her expression crumbling.

"It bothers me that I didn't care, and that I /am/ responsible for their deaths.." She grimaced, wringing her hands together in front of her.


"Well.." the Professor says, unfolding his fingers to lay his hands flat on the table. "Then I think that's one area wherein you and the people chasing you were very different. ..Wouldn't you say?" he says with a small smile.

"No, I don't think what you did was to be taken lightly. But Erik isn't wrong that every one of us carries regrets. …The best thing we can do is not to hide from them, but to face them directly, and learn from them. And it sounds as if you've already learnt some things you very much do not want to be."


A wan smile reflexively follows the Professor's own and she offers a small, hesitant nod after. "Yeah.." She voice was small, but at least, not as heavy with emotion as before.

A hand reached up to bunch up her hair back at the nape of her neck, a swallow following as she glanced down and back up at Xavier. "Do you think he'll be angry at me? I-I.. I'm just… I just found him and he's trying really hard, and I don't want to disapoint him. Or be annoying or clingy.. 'cause I know he has Miss Crystal and he's training others now too.. but.." A sniffle, and Lorna looked every bit as young as her eighteen years truly were.


"Hm." Xavier chuckles, and reaches over to pat Lorna reassuringly on the shoulder. "Erik…is not a man given to behaving counter to his beliefs. If nothing else, if something you do bothers him, I highly suspect he'll let you know unambiguously." he notes a bit wryly.

"That said..he respects that in others as well. I suspect as long as you aren't shifting responsibility for your choices or making excuses for the things you would now have done differently, that he will accept that. Just be honest with him. I know it can be difficult at times, but with those we care for, it's rarely the wrong path."


A hopeful look was shared in Xavier's direction at the reassuring pat and gentle words and a quick nod followed. "Okay, I'll.. I'll try that then." She bit her lower lip, "I think I should apologize for being sulky too.." Her gaze dropped and she toed the carpet of the library floor.

"And for running off like that in the first place." A brief wince followed /that/.

"And.. for getting short with Jean when she told me to go home with Tata and Miss Crystal rather than helping out.. I know she's been in a bad place lately.. and I just .. got upset.."


"If there are choices you made that you feel you should have done differently, an apology seems entirely appropriate. Though as to simply feeling troubled, perhaps thank him for weathering a difficult time with you rather than apologizing for having had it. That part at least is nothing to be ashamed of." Charles suggests. "As for Jean.. she is having a difficult time as well, yes. But there is a very large difference between being upset, and doing hurtful things because of being upset. That's something both of you should probably keep in mind when you talk."


Another nod follows, and some of the tension in Lorna's frame spills out and she sighs softly. "Alright." A faint smile presses free from her expression, hesitant but slowly warming as she pushes her hair back from her face.

"Thank you, Professor.. for talking with me and listening. I guess I really did need to talk about it.."

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