1964-08-31 - Wise Words
Summary: Lorna stumbles upon a man meditating in the park and he offers her some wise words.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
lorna bruce 

Bruce has a peaceful place outdoors, away from people in a small clearing in the park. He is sitting there very quietly, just staring into the distance, meditating. Trying to bannish memories in his mind that sour his stomache. His shoes are off, and he's sitting crosslegged on the grass. This is how Lorna would find him.

Lorna came walking down the path, well, more like shuffling. Her sneaks skuffing the sidewalk. Her hair was its natural green, and blended in with the summer leaves on the trees that had yet to turn toward their fall colors. She wore a simple pair of jeans and a tank-top. And the smell of iron and rust clung to her, and it was evident in how it stained her jeans and arms.

She had spent the better part of the day working in Mutant Town, and it showed, even as she cut through the park on her way to her father's house.

The young mutant paused as she stumbled upon the small clearing where a man sat, meditating quietly off on his own. She blinked, coming to a halt.

Bruce starts as well and looks up at the young woman. "Oh, hello." His eyes linger on her green hair, which he assumes she has colored. This is New York after all. There is little in the way people dress that surprises him anymore. He looks reflexively at his watch, which is not there. It's probably somewhere crushed in Luke Cage's bar. Oh well. It was a cheap thing he got running again anyway. "Miss? Do you know what time it is?"

Lorna smiled reflexively as the gentleman glanced her way and greeted her. She offered a slight wave, and approached to a more polite distance for a conversation. At his question about the time, she wrinkled her nose, and glanced up at the sun, considering. "Hmm, maybe sometime after three, near four? I don't wear a watch, but the last time I saw a clock it was like three fifteen." She murmured. She rubbed the back of her neck, and glanced around.

"Uhm, if it's not rude.. but uh.. what are you doing out here all alone?" She looked around, no books to read. No picnic. Strange.

Bruce says, "I'm teach the alphabet to the ants," he says. Then he blushes. "No, I'm sorry. It's not rude. I'm just…" He used to say that as a kid. He straightens a little. "Just being silly. Actually, I was just meditating, reflecting. I know this is New York, and everyone is always in high gear, but sometimes I need to slow down." He looks at the rust on her jeans with interest. "You don't look like a construction worker. Are you an artist?"

Lorna blinked repeatedly at his first response, her brows shooting upwards as she rocked her weight back onto her heels. "Uh.." Then as he continued she relaxed and smiled. "Oh. No. I know meditation. My therapist said I should uhm.. try it more." She bit her lower lip, "I've got uh, issues. And it's supposed to help and all. But I just feel silly trying it." She rubbed the bridge of her nose and shook her head. Her gaze falling to the rust stains on her jeans.

"Oh.. no. No.. I was helping out in Mutant Town. I was helping to rip out some old water pipes in some of the more damaged buildings there."

Bruce smiles, "That's nice of you to help. People aren't very tolerant of differences these days. I should help…" He leans back on his hands and looks up at her. "I have some pretty big issues myself." And, they are green. "You shouldn't worry. You wouldn't look silly doing it, and it does help. It doesn't get rid of the issues, but it helps you define them and handle them better. Have you tried?"

Bruce gestures to the ground beside him. "You can join me if you like…I promise I won't bite, but I also get it if you don't want to. I'm just this weird guy sitting in a park." He chuckles.

Lorna shrugged, "I know, I've been dealing with those intolerant jerks for a while now." She jerked a thumb to her hair. "This isn't dye and it's not a wig, lets say." She sighed and shook her head as she stretched her arms behind her.

"I went through things because of those kinds of people and it's.. well, I've ruined a lot of relationships because of it. I lashed out at people I cared about most." It was easier to say to someone that she hadn't met before. Someone that didn't know the ways that she was mentally messed up.

As he spoke about having his own issues she smiled weakly and nodded, "Yeah.. sure. I don't exactly have a rush to get anywhere." She settled on the ground beside him. "And I dunno really how it's supposed to help. I mean.. my thoughts kinda just get all tangled and stuff.." She grumbled.

His kind brown eyes flick to her hair. "Green is not such a bad color," he smiles at some inside joke. Even though he is not that kind of doctor, he listens. Bruce is pretty good at listening. "Sometimes you lash out at people you care about because you can. You know them, so it seems safe to express your frustration around them and too dangerous to express your frustrations at the real source." He shrugs, "If they care about you, they will understand. "

Bruce crosses his legs again. "So, it can help, but you have to give it time. Let your thoughts untangle. Get comfortable and close your eyes. Listen to your own breathing. Feel it. And you can repeat a meaningful word to yourself…I imagine a metronome. Give it a try."

Lorna shifted, crossing her legs as she sat on the ground and tried to get comfortable. Her hand rose to drag through her green hair, arching a brow in slight confusion but didn't comment further. As he spoke about her lashing out at people she cared about.. her expression crumbled. "They've got their own issues to go through and I hurt them pretty badly. I don't think it's safe for me to be around them anymore…" She sighed, hanging her head slightly. "They don't seem to think its safe to be alone with me." She bit her lower lip, her shoulders slumping.

Then as Bruce continued, explaining how meditation worked she nodded slightly, trying to mimic his posture. She closed her eyes, exhaling a long breath before she tried to slow her breathing and count it. In and out. She was good at that part at least. She'd used that to calm herself before.

Bruce is quiet for a while, frowning to himself as the girl describes something very familiar. "I'm sorry," he says softly. "Sometimes it's safer just to go away from the people you love. Safer for them, but it's hard." He takes a breath and is quiet while the girl listens to her breathing. "You breath goes in and out, and think about that. A worry will try to sneak into your mind like a mouse, but shoo it away. Tell it you will think about it later. If another comes, shoo it away." He keeps his voice soft. Then he closes his own eyes and watches his metronome.

A silent nod follows Bruce's words, a faint pinching of her brows strained her expression and that same sadness of what he said was clear and plain for all to see. Yet it passed as he turned the conversation back to her breathing. She counted it out, a slow and steady procession of inhales and exhales. She managed that much. Yet it was clear her mind was about to drift as his instructions to shoo the thoughts away followed.

A faint twitch of her lips demonstrated that much, at least, even as she fell silent, opposite of him.

Slowly, the more she relaxed and settled into her meditation… she started to float. Not far, an inch, two, three.. off the ground.

Bruce doesn't notice at first. His own eyes are closed. Eventually, however, he has a hard time meditating as his own mind keeps straying to the girl with a similar problem to his. Too young to have to stay away from loved ones. It troubles him. He opens his eyes and looks at her. His eyes widen, and he licks his lips, but remains quiet, watching her.

Lorna didn't seem to notice that she was levitating, not as she finally seemed to get how to meditate. How to keep her thoughts from spiraling into the downwards pits of depressive moods. She didn't open her eyes either, not for a good amount of time at least.

As the minutes dragged bye, and the sound of a bird call above distracted her. She blinked, glancing up in its direction. Then glanced toward Bruce. She caught him watching her and… realized after a moment's pause why he was. She yelped, and dropped back to the ground with a flop.

Bruce takes a breath, but maintains his calm. "I guess that is one of your powers…" He looks at the girl and holds up his hand. "I think you got the hang of it, though, right?" He blinks, "It's too easy to let those thoughts take over. I…I have a hard time, but I learned. Do you have other powers?"

He leans forward and grabs his shoes to pull on. They don't fit. They are at least two sizes too big. They are also weird tennis shoes. He doesn't have any socks. He glances again over at the girl. "You're not alone."

Lorna blushed, sitting up as she rubbed her lower back that had smacked the ground. She bit her lower lip, and nodded. "Yeah, I think I'll try to practice in a less public place though." She mumbled, "I just.. when I use my powers my head clears I guess in the same way. And it just.. kinda happened." She shrugged and glanced back toward him as he asked about her other powers.

She hesitated before continuing. "I'm.. well, I guess you could say I'm a magnet." She wiggled her fingers, and he'd feel a small tug on all the little metal bits on his clothes, if there were any to be found that is.

"I mean, sometimes I get upset and my powers kinda.. they go all over and I can't exactly control them." She fidgeted and looked down at her lap. "I've wrecked a lot of things because I've had panic attacks. Hurt a lot of people…"

Bruce blinks again, but not with fear or surprise. This time it is with curiosity. When she wiggles her hand, he finds himself pushing his glasses back up his nose. He doesn't have any other metal on him. "That's fascinating. Not all metal then…" He thinks about this. "Really if you are able to meditate to calm the panic, you should be able to get better. Get it under control. Learn to recognize the things that set you off. I get…attacks…sometimes." He purses his lips, "Similar to you…when I was panicked or angry…now, I come to places like this, and I try to recognize when my pulse is rising. I'm doing…better. Not perfect, but better. I think you can do it," he says sincerely. "What panicks you?"

Lorna grinned as he called her powers fascinating rather than reacting in fear. She flexed her hand again to rattle his glasses playfully again before she let her hand fall back to her lap. "Yeah, just iron based alloys, colbolt and other magnetic and diamagnetic elements. I can push on things that aren't magnetic, but it takes so much more energy. And its hard." She murmured softly.

When he asked what set her off, she bit her lower lip and her smile faded. "Uhm mostly things that uh.. well, people or situations that remind me of .. of bad things happening to me. I've been attacked in the past. So seeing people that look like them, or are them.. it I freak out. My powers go all over. And people get hurt. I've taken out a whole building's support structure before." She whispered, "It collapsed."

Bruce adjusts his glasses again. "That is very fascinating. I wonder what the iron in your blood looks like. It would be interesting to see under a microscope. Has anyone ever examined it?" He chuckles a little nervously. "Sorry. I'm a scientist. DOn't worry. I am not planning to dissect you." He leans back at her final words though, and a shadow goes over his eyes. "I hope no one was…." he lowers his voice. "Beating yourself up isn't the answer. I used to try to … punish myself…thought getting rid of myself would fix the problem. No one can fix the past, but you can try to fix the future. I think you are going what you should do. Understand your power and use it to help." He sighs, "It's hard advice to follow, but I'm in a little better place now." He looks thoughtful. "The best way to stop a panicked reaction is to confront those people or situations. Even if it is just in your mind…even if it's just describing it to someone. It's like building up an immunity."

Lorna grimaced as he talked about what her blood looked like. She bit her lower lip, and rubbed her upper arm as she looked away. "Yeah.." Her voice suddenly thick. ".. Scientists did." She mumbled, and fidgeted on the grass. "I didn't really have much of a say on it, so I dunno what it looks like. They weren't inclined to talk to me about what they found out."

She shrugged and hung her head slightly. "I dropped out of school to avoid the people I hurt." The green haired mutant dragged her hand through her hair, and kept her gaze low. "I'm not sure if it's because I can't face them, or because I want to give them their best chance at being happy and safe without me. I dunno. Maybe its both." She whispered.

"Talking about what happened to help .. confront it? What?"

Bruce holds up his hands, "I'm not that kind of scientist! That's horrible. " He is quiet for a while as he thinks. "I think if people really cared about you, there would be someway you could work with them to keep them safe. It might hurt them mor eto have you away…and avoidance is never the answer." God, he's such a hypocrite. "I just meant that you can get yourself to panic less about things if you have thought them though and discussed your fears. You said you have a therapist. Talking about things helps alot. Finding people who understand and just listen helps a lot," he says wistfully.

Lorna blinked as Bruce held up his hands and swore he wasn't like the ones that had experimented on her, which was a relief to say the least. Even if he was a strange, he didn't exactly come across as some kind of a mad scientist. She bit her lower lip, dragging her legs closer and settling her head atop her knees. Her gaze flickering over him briefly and then down.

"I don't think they care if I'm gone or not." She whispered, "Not the ones I hurt. Others.. yeah.. but.." She shrugged and shook her head. "I don't think they'll forgive me. They don't .. they're better off if they don't anyways." She hesitated as he asked about her therapist.

How to explain that she wasn't actually talking to her therapist, when all Emma had to do was read her mind?

"I dunno about talking, it just makes me upset. I mean, my therapist is prepared for that. So it's not an issue of hurting them. It's just.. I dunno how it can help me get less upset. My fears are uhm.. pretty specific. And .. and kinda too common for others too. I dunno."

Bruce purses his lips as he thinks how to explain it. "Being able to talk about trauma and worries gives you a psychological control over over it. Your mind works through it so that the next time you think about it the fear and pain is less. Neurologically, you have articulated it, you know it better. It doesn't necessarily make you hurt less. You will get upset. But sometimes I think you have to be upset…that's how your mind works through it. " He sighs, "I know it's hard." He stands up and offers his hand to Lorna. The way he said that, it's clear he knows how hard it is. "Keep meditating. I think it will help, but you should probably get home before it gets dark."

Lorna considered, she'd asked and asked, and asked how talking about her problems, her fears, her nightmares and what had happened to her would help. Finally, it took a strange man in the park to tell her the why. And it was a solid reason. One that sounded perfectly logically and made sense. The realization dawned on her that she had been looking for that all along.

As he offered his hand she took it, rising and brushing off grass from her jeans. She nodded, seeming to accept what he had to say at least without argument. "Yeah.. my father likely is wondering why I stopped in the park." She murmured, not clarifying exactly what she meant by that odd turn of phrase.

Still she smiled up at him. "Thanks for .. talking to me. And the help. I'll give it a try." She turned to go, offering a wave as she departed.

Bruce smiles, "You better get home then. Don't get me in trouble with your dad." He waves and smiles, turning away with a sad look. Poor kid.

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