1964-05-19 - Chess by Twilight
Summary: Nyx and Sophie have a heart-to-heart over late evening chess.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
nyx sophie-rousseau 


"Hey, Soph. Do you still have that rabbit? …I don't know if you ever named him or anything." Nyx's voice is soft, almost wistful as she leans herself back against Sophia breathes a quiet sigh. Blue eyes study the sky overhead as it darkens. It's almost night time now and the shadows are in full force, so much so that Nyx has brought along a flashlight for Sophie's benefit. She hasn't keyed it on yet, setting it aside into the grass.

"Like. It's not a big deal if you don't, I was just- wondering…" Nyx's breathing is relaxed, as she is. She isn't quite in Sophie's lap but they are close together for now. "Anyway. It's not important. This is nice. And we're far enough out from the school, so…" The field behind the school stretches out quite a ways before ending lined in trees. They are close to the woodline now.


"Of course I do," Sophie replies, with the warmth of her smile also in her voice. "You made it for me, and it makes me think of you when I look at it. Did you really think that I would not keep it?" She gives Nyx a soft kiss on the top of her head before adding, "Though now I have you here with me, too."


"I didn't know. That was the first time we met. And I've never tried to flirt with anyone before…" Nyx laughs, shaking her head slowly and then breathing a quiet sigh. "Should bring him out if he's on you. Let him stretch his legs a little." That causes a slow grin to develop on the girl's lips. In the shadows, almost invisibly, a small group of further rabbits start to gather.


"Mine is back in my room, carefully kept out of the sunlight," Sophie replies, Delight dawns in her eyes, and in her smile, as she notices the further shadow-rabbits gathering. "Though it seems as if there are plenty more where mine came from," she adds, with a giggle.


"Mmmhmm. They just want to visit," Nyx responds rather blandly. She lays into Sophie more fully then, closing her eyes. The rabbit family hops closer, noses twitching, watching the two girls as they scamper through the grass. "I know the last time we talked like this you said you hoped we'd be together a lot longer. A year from now… Whenever." She takes a deep breath and holds it for a second. "I don't know if I ever really want to be apart." Nyx trails off for a second, sounding a bit sheepish. "Anyway, um. How are those classes of yours going, Soph? Studying anything cool? I mean, other than you probably being able to make clouds and stuff as well as fly around. I have no idea how any of that works, really."


"I am not going anywhere, /ma cherie/," Sophie replies, gently and softly. "I would not be any more parted from you than day to day life demands. And I would have you know that I have never felt this way, this deeply, for anyone before. I have had my little loves, and my crushes on those I knew I could not have, but this, this is… different…" She sighs happily, and hugs Lizzie close.

"As for my studies, well, I am nearly done with the high school program here at the Institute. Much of it is not so different from any other school, other than perhaps the science teaching being a bit more advanced. But the training in the use of my powers, and in tactics and teamwork, and all of that… That is quite another thing. It is my hope that, once I have graduated, that I will be chosen to join the field team — the X-Men."


"That sounds like it could be fun. And dangerous," Nyx responds, keeping the frown on her face out of her tone with reasonable success. She relaxes quickly, however, and settles into the hug. Nyx reaches back to place a hand against Sophie's side as she muses on the subject. The rabbits, meanwhile, are bounding about and over the two girls in circles, playing in the grass.

"I would like to join them too," Nyx states seriously. "Especially if you are going to. i know I could help," She adds softly. "But teamwork might be something I need to work on." Even Nyx will admit this apparently. "Huh. I hadn't really thought about it before. And… Um. I know. That you're not going anywhere. This is almost a bit surreal, actually. But I could definitely get used to it.

"But, um. Right. X-Men. And the new college they've been talking about…" Nyx considers this for a few long seconds. "This is a whole different world. that's what we're preparing for, I mean. One where people like us aren't considered freaks. And we got off lucky too. The freakiest thing people get by looking at me is how pasty white my skin can be." She laughs very softly at that. "I just wonder what's going to happen next before we get there. Seems like everyone does, right. So… Huh. Before I get all gloomy on you. Want to play a game?"


Nodding, Sophie says, "We are indeed lucky, that our mutations dd not make us obvious, among regular humans. You have seen others in Mutant Town for whom that is not the case. But yes, such a world where we can be accepted without prejudice… That is part of what the X-Men are for. To be heroes, to show the world that we — well, most of us, at least, except for those who choose to use their powers selfishly or to do harm — are not to be feared, but to be thankful for.

"But you are right. I fear that to get there will be a long road. And before I begin to sound even more like the Professor, or like Cyclops, yes, a game would be very nice." She laughs a bit at herself, aware of just how much she sounded like her teachers for a moment, there. Apparently she has been paying attention.


"Cyclops. What is with that guy anyway?" Nyx asks, rolling her eyes as she does. "Dude is a total square. But he's… Not that bad actually." She trails off then for a second before nodding, taking a deep breath. "Can you teach me how to play chess? I can handle the whole chessboard thing if you can show me what to, um, do. I know what most of the pieces move like, I think…" Nyx's expression is one of careful though. Sophie can probably picture it by listening to her. "Or, I mean. There are other games. What sort of things do you like to play? I should really get around to asking you more questions," she considers after a moment. "Went well last time."


"He is very… focused, our field leader is," Sophie replies, with a grin. "But it is not for no reason. He cares, very much, for the Professor's dream. And he is determined to do all that he can to help it come true. I admire him for that, very much. And you saw him in the field, when we first met. There is no one I would rather follow into a dangerous situation. He is a brilliant leader. It is as if he was born to it, to the point where I have wondered if that is his true mutant gift."

"As for chess, yes, I do enjoy it. Many of the students here do. It is… applicable in terms of learning tactics, and discipline, and planning ahead while trying to out-think your opponent, or mislead them as to your intentions. I have gotten fairly good at it, I am told, though there are certainly students here better at it than me, not to mention how terrifyingly good some of the teachers are. Other games, well, board games can be fun, or cards… On the more physical side, fencing is rather thrilling, even if I am not so good at it, and I have learned to better appreciate your baseball, after many softball games on the diamond behind the mansion."


"I don't think we can pull off baseball. Besides, I never really got to play. Not enough room on the streets where I grew up and…" Nyx shrugs a that, though she follows it with a nod. "Okay, teach me to play chess? And then maybe we can scrounge up something andtry the fencing thing. I acutally like swords.I don't know about, um, fencing rules though."

Nyx takes a deep breath and sits up slowly. Reluctantly. Beside the pair a chessboard is coalescing. All the pieces are even there, though some of them are in the wrong places. Nyx is staring at it as she concentrates, reshaping things. Occasionally she has to reconstruct a piece of a section of board to make it more accurate. But before long she is done.

"Okay… Cards might be hard. being able to, like, read them and stuff. But this is straightforward." One side is very black, while the other takes on an almost purple colour, like it absorbs the light around it. The difference is subtle and yet glaring. It will do for telling them apart.


Sophie watches with delighted fascination as Nyx conjures her shadowy chess set. "That is… I suppose I should not be surprised, after my little rabbit, but what you are able to do with your powers, it is incredible. All right, first, the knight and the bishop — these two pieces — need to be reversed, and…" She points out another small error or two in the pieces' initial placement, and then proceeds to walk Lizzie through the basics, of how each piece moves, and also of the rules beyond the most obvious. It's clear from how she talks about it, and the way she describes things, that she is sincere about her enthusiasm for the game.


"Ah… Right. Okay." Lizzie listens intently, her eyes wide as she fixes the board and then goes through all the rules with Sophie. it's moments like these where she finally softens and relaxes, allowing herself to be her own age for a moment. She even smiles at Sophie periodically, her eyes lighting up when she does. It should be noted that in the current lighting they are amethyst rather than blue. It varies frequently, of course, but they are bright enough to be noticeable pretty much… Always.

"I knew you'd like chess," Lizzie notes triumphantly then, taking a deep breath. "Great. So, um. Time for me to lose a few games of chess right?" That smile becomes a sly grin. "Okay, so. right. I guess I am 'not white'. Umber. Something. I dunno, none of the pieces are actually white." When that conundrum is solved Nyx will be happy to make the first movie. After a second she does add, "What you do with your powers is, um, amazing too," she states seriously. "Mine do lots of things but the weakness to flashlights is a bit of a downer."


"You're smart, you'll pick it up quickly," Sophie replies. "And sometimes, an inexperienced player can be a different kind of challenge for someone who's played a lot. They can be harder to predict, even if their planning or tactics are not so deep. When I play against someone else with experience, there are what are almost textbook moves, especially in the early game, and against other sorts of situations. A newer player might do something else entirely and throw off those patterns."


"Like what they say about an inexperienced swordsman," Nyx responds, nodding slowly. She bites her bottom lip for a second, tilting her head as she drops her gaze to the chess board in front of her. Nyx finally reaches out to make the first move then. Her pawn can move two spaces instead of one so it does. That is about as far as she has gotten into the strategy of this game.

Finally Nyx murmurs, in a voice that is just audible but still quite clear, "I love you, Sophie Rousseau." She works it in as casually as possible when she releases the piece she was holding. It's almost like she's half-hoping Sophie doesn't hear her and the comment can go down as fact without being revealed.


Lizzie's declaration does go unanswered — for as long as it takes Sophie to make her answering move. One might even get the impression she deliberately took longer at it than she needed to, for Lizzie's sake. But then she looks up from the board, and into the shorter blonde's eyes. "Je t'aime, Elizabeth Mayhugh," she replies, quietly and with a soft smile on her lips.


"I still don't speak French," Elizabeth grumps but she's smiling quietly while she does so. She shakes her head then and reaches out to make a movie of her own. Lizzie isn't looking at the board as she does so. She doesn't even touch the piece this time. Just reaches, thinks better of it, and allows the piece to disappear, then reform on the new square. "Je t'aime, Sophie," she repeats back. "…If people find out how much I am smiling my reputation will never recover. This must never be revealed to anyone."


This time, Sophie doesn't linger quite so long over making her move, but she doesn't just make it without looking like it took thought on her part, either. "If you truly wish, your secret is safe with me," she answers, with a bit of musical laughter. "But perhaps I can persuade you to develop a new reputation, as someone who smiles more often because her girlfriend has made her a happier person?" She pauses just long enough for effect, before adding, "I will certainly try."


"…Well. If it would make you happy I guess I could maybe let people figure that bit out. But not because I'm secretly a nice person, alright? It's all your fault." Lizzie is scowling as she moves the next piece, brow furrowed in deep concentration. She is actually possessed of excellent instincts. If she had experience Nyx would likely be a formidable opponent. She naturally manages the hardest part of learning—- thinking ahead several moves into the future. It is not, of course, enough to prevent a slow, inexorable loss. Eventually her scowl fades, however. "There's still stuff I haven't really told you about me. things I've done and… stuff. I mean, I wasn't trying to keep anything from you but I just never really talked about what I was up to when we met."


"The past is the past," Sophie replies. "I trust you, Lizzie. Over time, you'll tell me the things you think are important about your past, the things you really think I should know. And the other things? We are young. We have both done things that we wish we hadn't, or that we had to, or that we did not mean to. Whatever is lurking in your past, the Professor did not find so troubling as to keep you from coming here. I trust him, and I trust you."


"Okay. Sure. If that's how it is then good. I just didn't want you to be upset with me because you felt like I didn't tell you everything," Lizzie responds, nodding her head once. "Okay. Cool." There's a beat as she considers this for a few long moments. "It's only just starting to hit me," she starts, laughing softly. "I mean- us."


"I think that I know how you mean, but I would like to hear you tell it," Sophie replies, playfully.


"You're evil," Lizzie responds with a glower, shaking her head slowly. "Okay, okay," she replies, before taking her time in drawing yet another slow, deep breath. "And also wonderful. Smart, sweet… Patient. Unbelievably kind. I feel loved and I still can't even imagine what you see in me to the point that you could actually love… Me. I just feel incredibly lucky. And if you ever need me for anything. Or want help with anything, tell me. I'll protect you. Even if it's scary or super dangerous… I want that chance. Because I'd never forgive myself for doing nothing if you got hurt." Lizzie reaches toward one of Sophie's hands slowly. "I love you. I kind of feel like screaming it from the rooftops. I mean, the Professor already knows and he didn't say anything about it! And that Dizzy chick too. …Telling my mom is probably really stupid."


"The very first thing I saw you do was to fight someone bigger than you because you knew they were doing something horrible. And you kept fighting, even after you knew you would not win. Because it was the right thing to do. And in the end, you did win — By keeping him too busy to leave, and too focused on you to realize he was about to get flattened. You were brave, and determined, and wonderful. And since then, I have gotten to know the other side of you. The soft, loving, gentle, sweet side." Sophie pauses to take a breath, then finishes, "I love you. All of you."


Nyx laughs ruefully, nodding her head as Sophie recounts the tale of her fight against the reincarnation of Ip Man at the docks. She shrugs her shoulders slowly. "I mean. I could've won but I didn't want to hurt him. I didn't…" Nyx shakes her head at this and then takes a deep breath. "You pretty much saved my neck from that guy. But seriously. If you're in trouble, don't try to protect me. Ask me for help. Please. I want you to promise." She now has one of Sophie's hands gently held in both of hers. "I've never actually tried to flirt before. I thought you were gorgeous, the first time we met. I still do. The rabbit went over pretty well, I guess." She winks, still grinning. There's a distinct red flush building up in those pale cheeks.


"I promise," Sophie says, carefully, with a deep breath and a nod. "But you must promise me something in return. Now that you are here, study hard. Take your training seriously. Not that I thought you would not, but — You will learn things about yourself, about using your powers, about how to fight, with or without them, that you never would have, were you not here. It may well save your life. Or it may save mine."

And then, that bit of seriousness over, that soft, wondrous smile of hers returns. "For a first try, you, as the baseball fans say, hit it out of the park. It was sweet and amazing and you had me half-way falling for you right then and there."


"Okay," Nyx agrees, nodding slowly. "I'll study as hard as I can. Learn as much as I can. And I'll protect you… And Cassie too. Even if she could probably beat us all up at the same time." Nyx is grinning as well after this, dropping her gaze back to the chess board. "Okay, so…" A brief pause. "Let's go ahead and finish this game. I'll never learn how to beat you if we can't even finish one game. Right. It's your move, I'm pretty sure, so…"

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