- From: "Moria McEntire" <bansheec@xxxxxxx>
- To: <ussbansheec@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2006 21:23:17 -0400
"Anniversary." Elisabeth Braddock and Laura Kinney The compound was cold like most medical compounds were, but the blowing and drifting snow outside the bullet proof windows made it feel even colder. Laura, no X-23 when she was here in this place, in this time, stalked the hallways of The Facility sniffing out her target. He was here she could smell him. She padded down the hall, her bare feet falling without sound on the cold flooring. When she knew he was near she released her hand claws and waited to pounce. Even after all these years, all the changes she'd gone through, the growing into a real person, no matter how happy Laura was, X-23 couldn't let go. Zander Rice had died long ago and as she leapt for the hologram he died yet again. Elisabeth watched almost sadly as her love repeated her past yet again. There was a part of her that wished she'd never built the holodeck in the first place. From the shadows, she observed. Holographic blood, even blood programmed for scent, just wasn't the same as the real thing. It didn't have the same warmth or the same acid sting that it had when she'd really killed the man who'd turned her into a monster. Standing above the body of that man, his holographic chest punctured with four claw holes, she allowed her claws to retract and extend until large drops of blood splashed to the floor at her sides. ~~Enough~~ She stepped out of the shadows, in her black ninja suit and a glow already starting in her right hand. ~~Or do you wish for a real fight?~~ With an almost sickening snikt sound X-23's claws one again emerged from between her knuckles, and from her feet. Turning she looked at Elisabeth, her breathing heavy and her face wet with tears. The glow extended into a solid katana embedded in light. ~~You cannot hurt me~~ "Laura," she said softy, "You're safe here." She wanted to believe that and normally she did but today all she could remember was killing her own mother. How did she know she wouldn't hurt Elisabeth? "Come..." ~~Spar with me~~ Elisabeth wrapped Laura in a mist of love and trust as she called out to the computer. "Dojo program four," she told it softly. It was odd but the sudden warmth of Elisabeth's program compared to her own made X-23 shiver and it allowed Laura to breath again. She titled her head to the side and looked at the older woman for several moments. Her head was still foggy, her emotions running wild, her heart in pain, but she realized enough to know this wasn't The Facility, Elisabeth wasn't Rice, and no matter how many times she killed his hologram her mother was still dead. X-23 titled her head the other way before bowing properly to accept the offer of sparring. "No blades here," she reminded the younger woman as she let the light dissipate completely. "Just you and me." She returned the bow then took up the defensive stance. ~~Attack me~~ All six of her claws withdraw, the wounds they caused bled and then sealed instantly. She blinked, titled her head once again, and then nodded. Taking up a sparing stance she lunged forward. Elisabeth responded quickly, always shocked at how strong her lover was. Even so, she just about managed to flip her, grunting gently with the exertion. The tickle of a smart remark lapped at the back of her mind. The first clear sign her mind was beginning to clear of it's grief. Laura waited for it, X-23 fought it. She didn't like the aftermath, the tears, the feeling of vulnerability, her humanity. With unlabored ease she again lunged forward kicking out her leg before dropping low. Flipping backwards, Psylocke sumersaulted to the other side of the dojo then grinned. "Come on, Laura, have to do better than that!" she taunted as she flipped back and attempted another flip on X-23. A small smirk tugged at the corner of her lips as X-23 struck out catching the other woman before she could land properly and then flipping her to the mat. Staying prone on the floor for a minute, Psylocke just laughed deeply then jumped back up. "More?" she asked, circling her opponent. That laugh always made Laura smile. It was one of the first things about her lover she'd ever taken notice of. Her laughter, her wit, her scent. She stared at the other woman before finally nodding and taking up a defensive stance. "My turn," Psylocke murmured, her eyes seeming to go vague before she suddenly jumped forward. She struck out as hard as she would allow, knowing Laura would take it and throw it back tenfold. In a complicated set of moves, she got her on the retreat and grinned wickedly. X-23 carefully countered the attacked strike for strike. She looked for an opening to take back the offensive, which was easier said then done. The two women knew each other's styles to well and could very nearly counter a move before it was made or strike knowing how the other would block. Which is why it was easy for her to make mistakes, allowing Elisabeth clear strikes on her. Psylocke knew they could go on for hours, they had in the past, but she neither cared to nor was it needed. To that end, she dropped her defenses just a little, only enough for X-23 to get her opening if she wanted it. In the past she would have used the opening she'd clearly just been given. When she was younger, when she and Elisabeth had first met, she'd done just that. Now however she simply stopped and stepped back. She looked at her lover for a moment and then bowed. Taken aback a little, Elisabeth bowed in return then opened up her arms for Laura. ~~Are you alright? What's wrong?~~ She hated feeling weak, venerable, but those things were apart of being human. As were the emotions she didn't always understand. Luckily her connection with Elisabeth was just as instinctual as it was emotional. She moved into her lover's arms with ease. ~~I'm not worth this.~~ ~~Worth what, my love?~~ Elisabeth enfolded Laura in a protective embrace, kissing her temple then her cheek and lips. "You're worth everything to me." "Humanity." Laura whispered as she bared her face in Elisabeth's chest. ~~Love.~~ "You are," Elisabeth murmured. She placed soft kisses along her lover's brow. ~~I adore you, you're my love and lady~~ "I'm a savage." Laura replied. "What?!" Elisabeth gaped at her then shook her head firmly. "You're not. We've been over this ground. Not a chance are you a savage. What on Earth has put this in your head?" Hated tears welled in soft green eyes. "It was today, so many years ago, but it was today." Elisabeth closed her eyes and bit back a sigh. She should have known. Why hadn't she known? "Oh Laura," she whispered as she held her tighter. ~~You've yet to make peace, my love~~ "How do you make peace with killing your own mother?" Laura asked in such a way that she nearly sounded like a child. "By knowing it wasn't your fault," she said softly as she stroked Laura's hair. "By knowing she loves you still. She named you, my love. She gave you your humanity." It had been the last thing Sarah Kinney had done just before death. She'd given X-23 a name. She'd given the girl some normality in life while the living weapon was programmed. "I wish.. I wish I had known what love was then." "You know now," Elisabeth told her. "Would you give it up to become the savage again? Give me up?" Looking up, Laura shook her head. "Never." "Know that I love you." Kissing Laura softly, she cuddled her tightly. "I love you too." Laura replied as she gave Elisabeth a kiss of her own while allowing herself the haven of her lover's embrace. "Then be at peace." Elisabeth stepped back a bit so she could stroke Laura's face. "You're safe here." Laura nodded. Safe was still something she was getting use to even after all these years. "She might have given me my humanity but you've given me my heart."
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