3036/Lectures and Consequences

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Lectures and Consequences
Date of Scene: 22 August 2020
Location: Valeria's Room - Four Freedoms Plaza
Synopsis: Mom lectures and teenager moodiness never mix well.
Cast of Characters: Valeria Richards, Susan Richards

Valeria Richards has posed:
Valeria is, for the moment at least, in her bedroom suite, at one of the workbench desks in her 'playroom'. Or what was when she was little, but is now more of a miniature lab of its own. Her glitter-covered DoomBot is nowhere to be seen, though a mess of various metal bits, crystals, and circuitry is scattered on her workbench as she tinkers with it, a hardlight screen up and scrolling through three different sets of what seems like some sort of code.

She's dressed down in Fantastic Blue yoga pants and a white tank top that has a cartoon robot stomping on a cartoon city on it; bare feet, her hair clipped back in a jawclip. There's a robotic clamp coming out of one wall above the bench that holds her StarkPhone so she can keep up with the text conversation on it, the bright blue and red bubbles obviously active, even as she quickly types something on the smaller hardlight keyboard coming out of the StarkPhone, which pops a blue word bubble up at the bottom as she hits enter and returns to her project, weilding her omnitool with a look of concentration.

Susan Richards has posed:
    Susan has done a great deal of fuming and fussing since a measure of peace returned to her home. While the matriarch of the Fantastic family can seem almost supernaturally unflappable at times thanks to a lifetime of impossible experiences, she DOES have her buttons that prove she's not some kind of Mom Robot in Cheerful Mode. Curiously, though most of those buttons involve threats to her family and children, this one was pushed BY her child!
    So this is a learning experience.
    Having eventually gathered herself, though, Susan eventually appears at Valeria's door, dressed casually for once, and knocks on Valeria's door with the back of her hand. "Valeria?" She calls gently. "I'm coming in."
    Her tone's not aggressive, but she's not leaving a ton of room for protest.

Valeria Richards has posed:
"There's no one else in here," Val replies with snarky annoyance, frowning at one of the crystals she's working with for a moment. A FWIP! noises sounds from her phone and a red bubble pops up, which she glances up at. A half-smirk tugs at her lips, but she doesn't respond to the text yet. "And I'm prepared for your lecture."

Susan Richards has posed:
    When the door opens, Susan's expression is *not* amused. She had wrangled some calm earlier, but her daughter's attitude is not rubbing her the right way. "Of course you are." She says softly as she steps into the room and taking in the interior. She doesn't end up in this room much these days, so it's a mix of unfamiliar items that her daughter has added to personalize it, and familiar things that Susan herself gave her ages ago. Back when Valeria's brand of mischief was much cuter and harmless.
    Susan's gaze falls to Valeria as she says "Will you at least pay attention?"
    Respect is a bit of a bugbear with Susan. She will NOT talk to the back of someone's head while they text and work at a desk.

Valeria Richards has posed:
Valeria sighs, shifting some of the items she's working on around and getting a clamp into one area so that things don't pull apart while she's not paying direct attention, before she turns around, leaning back on the desk.

FWIP! another bubble pops up, though at least Val doesn't turn to look at it.

"Paying attention, Mom." Val crosses her arms across her chest, looking annoyed but at least attentive.

Susan Richards has posed:
    Susan regards Valeria evenly, her arms crossed in a nearly identical fashion to Valeria, taking a deep breathing before she says - with a great deal of control considering the worry she's wrangling up, "Before anything else... did you at least use protection?"
    Safety first!

Valeria Richards has posed:
"MOM." Valeria huffs. "If it makes you totally feel better... we did not have sex." There's only a faintest hint of a blush on her cheeks, but mostly she's being matter-of-fact. "Ugh. I mean, I could have, and if we would have, //yes//, but no, we didn't."

Susan Richards has posed:
    Susan's stance doesn't change, but after a moment of stern contemplation - unmoved by ZValeria's embarrassment - she noticeably seems to deflate a little bit with that bit of tension off her shoulders. "... Good. That's good." She says, signalling that she's choosing to take Valeria's word on this one, despite the situation.
    Susan takes a slow breath and says, "... I don't know what kind of lecture, you're expecting, Valeria. I know why you went drinking, and I know why you brought a boy home. That's..." Susan sighs, "... that's adolescense 101. I'm not happy about it, and you know why already. What I don't know, what I don't understand... is why you paraded him out in front of your family." She glances at the balcony door and says, "Sneaking him out would have been *easier* in every way." Susan's head tilts forward slightly, "... So why?"

Valeria Richards has posed:
"To see if I could," Valeria replies honestly... and a touch arrogantly. And to get a reaction. Any reaction. Though she doesn't admit to that part. Another FWIP! behind her, and Val does glance over her shoulder at the phone, looking like she's about to grab it and reply, though she forces her attention back to her mother.

She knows //exactly// how angry she gets over being ignored.

Susan Richards has posed:
    Susan visibly bristles at Valeria's arrogant answer, her jaw clenching though she otherwise foreces her expression not to change, restraining herself for the few seconds it takes to be sure she won't shout at her only daughter. Her brow twitches when Valeria seems like she's going to look away, but, bullet dodged.
    "... To see if you could what?" Susan replies, her words coming slowly and, initially, tersely. "Embarrass us? Frighten us? Makes us feel weak and ineffectual, make us worry for our children? Well consider your experiment a success, honey, but it doesn't take a super-genius to *hurt your family*" The last worst she snaps out loudly enough that she stops herself from talking any further, to reel herself back in.

Valeria Richards has posed:
"I'm *sick* of being treated like a fragile piece of glass," Valeria glowers, then looks away. "I'm not a child but you keep treating me like I'm still some ten year old girl." FWIP-FWIP! two texts come in, in short succession, and then she does turn and look to see what's been sent-- and her face brightens suddenly, regardless of the argument she's having with her mother. And she blushes a bit.

Though she forces herself to turn back around and face Sue without responding. But the angry arrogance is faded a fair bit replaced by a much more relaxed and almost dreamy look. She shakes it off after a second. "You don't think it hurts me when I'm left behind all the time? When I'm told literally everything in the world is too dangerous? I don't feel like I'm part of this family, I'm just..." her eyes flit to some of the toys on the shelves. "I'm just an accessory. And I *hate* it."

Susan Richards has posed:
    Susan frowns slowly, or own anger now clashing with the simple but sharp pain of a mother hering that her daughter feels like she doesn't belong. Maybe the anger's just stubborn, but the instinct to throw everything aside and coddle Valeria isn't a useful one, and Susan struggles to mitigate the softer part of herself.
    That said, her voice does soften, uttering a quiet, "Honey..." before pressing her lips together tightly, trying to control herself. "... I'm sorry that we've made you feel that way, Valeria. But you have no idea - you have no *context* - for how frightening it is to have a child who's *so* intelligent that they know pretty much everything there is to know before they have a chance to *do* anything with it. Who has all the *data*, but no *experience*. It's our responsbility to make sure that you and Franklin grow up safe and strong. Everything we do, every danger we face, it's *all* to give you a world worth living in, and to help you grow into people we can be proud of. You're not an accessory, you're the *goal.*"
    Susan closes her eyes, "... And up until now, I have been proud of you. But you lashed out at us without even telling us how you felt. You introduced a *severe* security risk to our family's home. I can't just ignore that."

Valeria Richards has posed:
Val sulks. "I mean, technically his bioprint should still be on record," she mutters, crossing her arms defensively. She looks away, chewing on her lower lip. So at least she had put a tiny amount of thought, it seems, in her rebellion. But she doesn't respond to anything else Sue said, just refusing to make eye contact and pouting.

Susan Richards has posed:
    Susan gives a short, slightly exasperated sigh and says "Yes. He is. That's an oversight. People don't just come back from the *dead*, Valeria. If they did, your grandfather-" Susan stops very suddenly, the word 'father' dropping off quickly. There's a hurt that never quite went away.
    Susan shakes her head. "... They never just *come back*. There's always a catch. If Bruce was going to bring him back, he would have done it five years ago. So who..." Susan hesitates, unwilling to go down that dead end road, and says, "We have *so* many enemies, Valeria. Us, *all* of our friends. Jason doesn't even need to *know* he's here to hurt us if someone has the right angle."
    She's, uh... pretty experienced at all this.

Valeria Richards has posed:
Valeria's jaw sets stubbornly. "Mm, yes, I'm sure he's some zombie vampire lizardman from the Negative Zone totally out to get us by seducing your powerless, helpless daughter, all while right under Batman's nose. Small problem Mom: *I* messaged *him*. So I guess that just makes me the stupid one who falls for zombie vampire lizardmen." She glances back at her phone, and the pile of materials on her workbench. Then she huffs. "He came back somehow, and maybe I can replicate the process. Who knows? But I am *very* sure that was Jason, Mom. Not some... weird alterdimensional monster version of him."

Susan Richards has posed:
    Susan's jaw sets in an expression eerily similar to her daughter's as she speaks very softly. "Valeria, you may be smarter than me, but that doesn't make me an idiot, and it doesn't give you the right to talk to me like one. I've seen things that would turn your hair white; I am not being silly.

Valeria Richards has posed:
"FINE." Valeria turns around, snatching her phone off the stand. "Want me to have him come back so Dad can take samples or something?" she snaps. "I'll ask him. But right now, leave me *alone*." She swipes at the tools on her desk angrily. "I'm going to *bed* and yes, *alone*. So there." She storms over to her bedroom door, and unless Sue stops her, storms into the other room and not-slams the door behind her (thanks Reed for the anti-slamming mechanisms... did he realize he'd have moody teenagers at some point?).