1964-03-21 - What is Real and What is Not?
Summary: Lorna (the real one?) and Seth have a chat about how it feels to know that someone is running around as a clone of you.. answer? Awkward.
Related: Stay-Tuned Plot
Theme Song: None
seth lorna 

Lorna had been gone for a few hours, taken away from the costuming department. When she returned? Everything from her hair to her toes had gone through a cosmetic upheaval. Hair trimmed up and redone with highlights and curled, make up, waxing (of everything from eyebrows to her legs), manicure, pedicure, her clothes, her shoes, her everything had gone through the brutal and unforgiving mess that was the costume department.

Even more so, so had the room while she'd been gone. Another doorway had opened up, revealing something that looked straight out of a casino or some high end hotel. Still, no metal in sight, but there was a rather showy addition of a bed and curtains lined the walls. Giant TVs played ads and other Mojo-approved programing. (Not a book in sight)

Lorna herself, just took it all in and promptly plopped herself down into a tired ball on the brilliant yellow leather couch. She wore a rather flattering pair of high waisted jeans and soft, expensive looking sweater.

A groan peeled from her lips as she pressed her hands against her temples.


The youth had been put through a similarly rigorous grooming process, though it was suffered with a disaffected attitude adopted after months of repetition. When he appeared through the subtle hiss of a portal door, his blonde hair had been carefully combed back, greased just enough to hold it into place but not appear disingenuous on camera. There was an overall appearance of All-American Hero, edged just carefully with a 5 o'clock shadow and leather jacket that added a dose of bad boy mystique. Upon seeing Lorna sprawled on the couch, Seth stubbed out the cigarette in a nearby ashtray that had been pinched between his fingers. The leather sighed as he collapsed beside her with a grunt.

"They waxed my back when I first got here. That shit hurts."

He finally said, shooting her a grin of teeth bleached back to white despite his best efforts to yellow them before 25.


Lorna leaned back against him, as if a great weight had been lifted from her at his presence. Real or not, copy or not, she seemed to find comfort in his presence none the less. "They said we're going to Disney World." She mumbled, her expression looking dubious at best.

"Why would they send us there?" Her teeth snuck out to bite down against lipsticked lips, and she shook her head, hairspray wafting from her curls.

"I don't get it. Why mess with Earth? I just, I don't get any of this Seth." She mumbled, folding her arms and drawing herself inwards. The lights above flickering faintly as she flexed her hand.


Seth smirks as she ignores his commentary, and the cursing it included. Trauma was apparently making her more tolerant of his foul mouth. As she leaned back into him, he shifted his weight to accommodate her against his chest. There was a woodsy, rich scent underneath the cigarette smoke, his exhale against her carefully arranged curls all black coffee and alcohol. His vices were as comforting in this strange world as a blanket from childhood.

"Why do anything? There isn't a masterful design in most of this, except to create entertainment. As I have never considered myself all that entertaining, I'm at a loss for what to tell you."

A light shrug disrupted her resting place as she drew in on herself, his leg crossing over the other matching ankle to knee as he let her ponder in silence.


A shake of her head followed, and she glanced up at the TV playing over clips of .. something. She didn't particularly care, at least until there was a clear image of her but decidedly not her. On a street in New York. There was Ava, a young woman that looked more apt to be friends with Seth than her, and then some strange girl too.

Lorna perked up, her brows furrowing as she stared, her mouth parting. "W-what is that? Is that.. is .. no that.. I-I… that's not me. I'm here. I don't remember that.."

The Lorna on the screen seemed to have fallen and started chattering about going shopping and going on dates with Julian Keller. Which she had gone on one date but..


Seth follows her gaze up to the television before making a face and looking away. He picked at his fingernails as the idle chatter pulsing from the speakers echoed tinny against his senses. The boy had never liked televisions, having been largely unexposed to their noxious presence until recently. This form of entertainment failed to grow on him, despite his involvement in it.

"Clones. Building a plot to draw in more viewers, I suspect. Technically, we're not people anymore. Not even actors. We're just characters."

Looking up from the impeccably cleaned nails with a sigh, he clicked his tongue.

"When they keep you in the rooms like this, make sure all the dirt is scrubbed off and you can't even stub your toe, makes you start to wonder what's real anymore. If maybe the folks out there, living our lives, are the real ones now."


Lorna made a face, curling up to press tighter against Seth and bury her features against his shoulder as the clone chattered on and on about going on dates and how Julian dropped a few hundred dollars on wine. Which, at least the clone admitted that she didn't drink. That had happened. A wince following as the cloned version of her mentioned how she'd steered the car via her powers.

"I don't like it. I always wondered what my tata felt. When he mentioned what the Nazis did." She bit her lower lip.

"How they took bits of his DNA. I know this isn't exactly like it.. I mean I don't think they could make clones but—" She broke off, gritting her teeth as she shot Seth a distressed glance.


Seth allows her to clamor closer, steadying her weight on the squeak of the cushions with an arm wrapping around to draw her closer. In the lee of his shoulder, the steady thum-thum-thum of his heart drown out the volume on the television. In response to her attempted defense, the dialogue automatically amplified to make sure that she didn't miss such a key plot point. Seth shot the screen a menacing glare before returning his focus to the woman nestled against him. Quietly brushing some of her hair away from her face, he sighed,

"Nobody has ever taken your body or a part of you like that before without asking, huh?"

He didn't say it, but there was an exhaustion in the edges of his young features that suggested he had never thought fighting this was an option.


A small shake of her head followed, "No," She mumbled faintly, wincing as the Ava on screen questioned where she'd been. Peppering the clone Lorna with questions about where she'd been and how she could stand to go on another date with Julian. The clone continued to describe the fancy French restaurant, how well off Julian was and how she wanted to give him a second chance.

"And I don't like it." She mumbled, her voice holding a watery edge to it.


A sigh moved his chest as he shook his head, reaching out to take her gently by either side of the head so that his fingers moved through her hair, his calloused palms cover her ears. He pulled her closer until they were forehead to forehead, the rattling din of television persona prattlings dulled by his touch, the smell of him, the blueness of his eyes. The way his hands cupped around the ridges of her ears created an echo chamber that allowed her to focus on him, despite how quietly he spoke. It was a stark contrast to the dramatics playing out on the screen.

"The only people who do it don't much care how you feel or what you like. That's why they do it. I'm sorry this ever happened to you, Lorna. I really am."


Green eyes clash against his blue eyed gaze as he closed the distance to blot out the TV monitor that continued on without either of them watching now. Doubtlessly the cameras would be zoomed in on them. Even as she sniffled and her hands clutched at the fabric of his shirt, trembling gently as she struggled to not cry again.

Rather the power flickered again, and static electricity built up around her. Her brown hair, so perfectly styled and hair sprayed into place gently wafted upwards as she pulled on her magnetic field like a safety blanket as much as she folded into his gentle touch.

She seemed to struggle for a long time with words, her lips soundlessly moving and yet no sound escaped other than a soft whimper.

A flutter of her eyelashes, as she struggled to not let the dampness spill over and down her cheeks again. "They're not me. I'm me." She mumbled, "And.. and we'll be okay. It's not me.."


Seth smiles as she finally manages to form words, chuckling despite himself as he nods and pulls her quietly to his chest. As the tears color his jeans with dark drops, he continued to press his palms over her ears, fingertips massaging the temples while the lights flickered and he stayed silent for a long moment, letting the sound of the speakers batter against his slender shoulders. Then they drew as he gathered air in his lungs, as if readying to scream at the unrelenting intrusion of the sad excuse for entertainment.

Instead lyrics formed, and the lilting tune of Sinner Man washed over her, blurring out the tears, the battering of falsities and the seeming hopelessness of their situation with simply,

"Oh sinner man, were you going to run to?"

Repeating the triad of chords that usually accompanied it, the tone simple, the voice that weaved it simpler still. The boy would hardly be invited to sing on stage, his voice weak in places, unsure, but more or less on tune and confident enough to dominate the room instead of the intrusion of their clones.


Eventually her tears faded and she wiped her eyes, curled up as she was against his chest. Her breathing calming and even the static died down as she released the tight hold she'd had on the electricity to boost her magnetism. A sigh escaped her as she listened to his singing, never once interrupting or trying to interject.

Even after he stopped signing, she held onto him, sitting there in silence, her cheeks warm and damp from her previous tears. As safe as she could be given the circumstances. She had expected her sister to find her by now, with Doctor Strange. For them both to have been rescued. Yet day by day her faith slowly dwindled and she was left clutching at Seth's presence more and more.

A soft laugh followed, suddenly as she smoothed a hand out over his shirt. "So much for the costume department's work." She muttered, lifting her head slightly as she wiped at her eyes.


Somewhere in the infrastructure of the building, the audio of the television had to be adjusted to capture Seth's voice with enough clarity to auto tune it and revamp it for broadcasting. Perhaps that was his intention, though the result met his expectations. The television had snapped off, fading into the silence that his words left upon finishing the last verse regarding a need to have been praying. His lips were dry, and he swallowed thickly as she spoke, managing to muster a smirk.

"Somehow I think they'll survive."

A pause, and then he tilted his head in thought, untangling his fingers from her hair to wipe at her cheeks with the hem of his jacket.

"Though you won't if you ever mention this. Don't want to think of what the guys would say, me singing to a girl like some kind of fruit."


Lorna sighed gently as the sounds finally cut off in their 'suite' as it was. Her lips curving slowly into a smile as Seth took to wiping her cheeks clean of mascara stains left behind by her tears. She sniffled weakly, her smile still shaky, but it was there as she kept snuggled close to him.

"I'm pretty sure the boys wouldn't spend time chatting with me anyways." She offered, shrugging with a small lift of her shoulders.

"Besides, I liked your singing, it was nice."


Seth shrugs as he untangles himself briefly to shrug off his jacket, tossing it over the arm of the couch and then resettling with a huff,

"It's what it is. I just wanted to get rid of that noise. Not used to it. I've never lived anywhere with a boob tube, and they just seem so loud. Even when it's not your clone yammering on about how cute whoever that guy was."

An eyebrow raised and he regarded her with a mischievous grin,

"Maybe he will know it's not you and come to your rescue. I could fight him. That'd make for good television, I suppose."


Lorna shifted as he got up to toss his jacket aside and she coughed, looking away. "Julian Keller, he's a rich kid that asked me out from the Frost Institute. And by asked me out, showed up outside my dorm with his car and then took me out to some dinner where he got drunk." She mumbled, her cheeks turning hot as she scratched the back of her head.

"I really don't want to see him tangled up in all of this." She gestured around them and sighed.

"If there's a clone of me running around though, I doubt he even knows I'm missing."


Seth scratches at a place where a razor had nicked him during grooming, the skin unharmed due to his mutation though the spot still bothersome due to the single hair poking out at an odd angle.

"You know, if you had some unrequited love interest out there who would know the real you, that would make this entire being rescued thing a lot easier."

His tone was teasing as he reached out to tousle her hair before standing, his hips swaying as he reached over the bar within their suite and came back to the countertop with a bottle of bourbon. The top was popped, corked lid clattering to the floor as he returned without bothering to grab a glass. Where did it all go? Even with his current accommodations, his build was still much too slender to seem capable of processing all the poison he pumped into it.


A huff followed and Lorna crossed her arms, wrinkling her nose. "I am nobody's girl. So no. No love interests out there, unrequited or otherwise." Julian had stolen a kiss though. Was that love? Not entirely. No. As he ruffled her hair she reached up with a wrinkle of her nose to straighten it back into some manner of order at least.

As he went to the bar though, she heaved a sigh, shooting him a look. "Can you even get drunk given your mutation?" She asked, arching a brow.


Seth laughs at the question, settling down on the couch at a companionable distance so they could continue to converse as he took a swig and seemed wholly content in the moment that it hit his gut.

"Oh absolutely. One of the few things I can feel that most other people can."

And though his tone was cheerful, there was a twitch of his lips when he said that, a subtle indication that the thought did not sit well with him.

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