3060/Braddock Family Reunion

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Braddock Family Reunion
Date of Scene: 23 August 2020
Location: Cliffside Manor
Synopsis: Betsy and Brian get reacquainted after a long time apart.
Cast of Characters: Brian Braddock, Betsy Braddock

Brian Braddock has posed:
Brian Braddock is seated in his parlor, legs folded over as he inspects his phone. A glass of scotch is poured over ice. The bottle and a small ice box also sit. Clearly he's waiting for someone.

Over his shoulder we see he's scrolling through British news services. The articles are related to crime and international affairs.

Outside the sun is setting over the Gotham Bay region, off to the west along the miles of farmland. The sea is a deep blue as the clouds roll in from the East. It looks as though it is about to rain.

Betsy Braddock has posed:
They're twins. And Betsy has been a telepath a long, long time. She as much felt her brother's arrival on the continent as anything else. More than that, she hasn't seen him since... well... *before*. Before everything. So, perhaps it's not so surprising that she hopped in her car and made the drive down from New York to Gotham.

She pauses outside the gates to the old mansion grounds, surveying it with a practiced eye. A faint smile touches her lips. Her mental awareness drifts out to the bright (to her) presence seated in the parlour.


Brian Braddock has posed:
The old door opens with a creak, squealing as it pulls backwards to reveal her brother.

"Betsy," Brian says with a sigh and a weary smile. It's been a long time after all. He reaches out for a hug and, well, the young man smells like he's been drinking. A lot.

"Come in, come in, let's get you out of the rain."

He's yet to notice any of the slight change to Betsy and is blissfully unaware of what she has had to endure.

Betsy Braddock has posed:
If he's been drinking, then, yes, the scent of alcohol is doublessly hanging about him -- something a hug will reveal even if a casual 'hello' will not. Betsy embraces her twin, perhaps a bit tightly, though nothing his stubstantial physique can't handle. It's not like she's using her TK, after all.

"I think it might rain in Gotham as often as it does in London," she says, stepping past him finally into the hall. She takes a moment to look around at the place he's bought for himself and then turns back to regard him. Her violet eyes flit up and down his form, noting small details of his appearance in addition to the addition of L'eau de Whiskey as his cologne of choice. "So. I thought one of us, at least, should come see the other. This is the closest we've lived to each other in years."

A smile touches her lips, perhaps a ghost of concern in her eyes, and her head cants. "How are you, Brian?"

Brian Braddock has posed:
"A fantastic idea," Brian replies. As she moves by him into the house, he stands in the entryway, looking back at her, and bringing the glass up to his lips.

"You can come any time, and stay as long as you wish. At some point, I would like to come up to visit you as well."

As she asks him how he is doing, he doesn't flinch or hesitate despite Betsy's concern. "Fine." The door closes and he moves off into the parlor where the bottle is sitting. "Getting used to the new city. Speaking of, I had considered getting dinner catered, but I did not want to have something prepared that you did not enjoy. I figured I could get something delivered."

He pauses, looking at her for the first time...intently. "Something is different about you. Are you wearing colored contacts?"

Betsy Braddock has posed:
"You're always welcome in New York," Betsy replies. "I'll have to show you my new business." She smiles as she moves toward the parlour with him. "I'm a now the proud owner of nightclub in downtown Manhattan. Sion."

As he asks about her eyes, she blinks. A hand rises to brush a bit of hair behind an ear. "Ah. No." She shakes her head. "Been an eventful couple of years. The new eye colour is a... souvenir." Her tone takes on a subtle dry sarcasm at the last. "What about you? I'm surprised you're willing to be a way from the Isle for so long." A beat. "I'm surprised Her Majesty is *willing* to let you be away for so long." It's rather like Metropolis without Superman, Gotham without Batman, or New York without Captain America.

Brian Braddock has posed:
"A nightclub?" Brian's chuckle comes through an exhale as he begins to think about the possibilities. "Well, in that event, I most certainly need to visit. Perhaps sooner than later."

"A souvenir?" Brian asks, and turns his head slightly. As if he needs something to do with his hands, he begins to fix her a drink. "Are you going to fill your brother in or will you make me guess?"

As she begins to talk about his role in Britain and his current home, Brian begins to take another drink--this one lasting until the drink is gone. "Well, the good news is that I am able to get home as quickly as I need to, of course. It's part of why the decision was made to put me on the East Coast. In concert with my own wishes at further education, it seems the Crown felt the need to send me here. To be close to these groups that seem to be taking over the world." Brian reaches for the bottle again to pour himself another, even as he hands Betsy's glass to her. "They call it monitoring. I call it espionage."

Betsy Braddock has posed:
Betsy barks a short laugh at that. "Monitoring. Yes." Espionage by any other name. "Which groups is she most concerned about? Or is it W.H.O. that are concerned?" The Crown, she knows, isn't so much Her Majesty the Queen, as it is the myriad of institutions and political powers that be that support that crown. The machinations of British Parliament and beyond. Not, mind, that Betsy is, herself, all that concerned about which groups her brother might be sent to spy on.

Unless he's supposed to mess with the X-Men. That could get messy.

She accepts the drink from him. If he expects to hear her tale of woe, she'll need it. She turns and looks about the room until she finds a suitable chair. She crosses to it and flops gracefully into it, hardly a slosh from her drink, not a single drip lost.

She takes a slow mouthful and swallows, letting the liquid warm her throat before she decides to speak. A hand gestures to her eyes. "It's something of a long story. I ended up in a fight against a villian with a supposed weakness to my particular brand of power. Unfortunately, I wasn't as successful as I intended to be. I lost my eyes. Switched bodies with a Japanese ninja, speant a few brainwashed months doing things I'd rather not get into, and then eventually shook it all off, swapped back to my own form and... Well, my eyes are better. They're just purple now." She chuckles dryly. "Good thing I've always been partial to it, hmm?"

Brian Braddock has posed:
"They haven't quite said, I'm afraid." Brian repositions himself in the large chair and sighs. His eyes trail up to the ceiling as if he's trying to figure it out himself. "To be honest, I don't know if they want me to spy or if they believe proximity to these powers: The Avengers, the Justice League...that somehow my presence here will help bring Britain acclaim on the international stage in some way."

He takes another swallow of the brown liquid before adding, "And so I negotiated the ability to at least finish my studies while I'm here. And so in a week, I go back to school."

Brian cups the drink in his hands as Betsy tells her story, "It seems as though you've told your long story very quickly. I have a great number of questions." He tilts his head, "First, are you alright? Second, whose face do I need to punch in?"

Betsy Braddock has posed:
Betsy gives a bit of a half-shrug, her lips twisted wryly. "Honestly, Brian?" Her violet eyes flit to the window, gazing out at the rain. "I'm holding on. I still wake up with nightmares, but I'm as okay as I think I'm going to get for the foreseeable future." A beat. A sharper smile. "My hobbies help."

Nevertheless, she chuckles. "But there's no one left in this world you can punch, unless you intend to hunt down Jamie. He brought me into the fight. But he wasn't the one that cost me my life." She hasn't any idea where Jamie is, right now, anyway. And that's probably just as well.

"I did get a few upgrades to my fighting ability in trade, though. I won't be so easily captured again, I assure you."

Brian Braddock has posed:
Brian's face gets beat red as it is wont to do when he begins to get angry. Still, he does a decent job appearing to keep it in check, at least in appearances. "Where was I during all of this?" Again, he reaches for the drink and finishes it quite quickly. Outside the clouds have made it dark rather quickly and the rain that she predicted is beginning to fall.

Betsy Braddock has posed:
"Britain, I imagine," Betsy replies. She gives him a serious look. "Brian, I wasn't even in this dimension for much of it. There's nothing you could have done." And, though she doesn't say it, even if she had been able to call for his help, she might have hesitated. She really wouldn't have wanted anyone else to go through what she did. Her brother is formidable. But his thinking is not... subtle. Telepathy forces a mind into a more subtle pattern.

"But, I promise, if I ever come across someone you can punch over this to make you feel better, I'll do my best to make sure you know."

Brian Braddock has posed:
There's a deep sigh of resignation that comes from the giant man. He'd like to do something, and he's not particularly happy about this, but even he recognizes there's nothing that he can do about it. "It would make me feel much better, thank you."

"So what can you tell me about these American heroes. I know their marketing well, but haven't come to meet any of them in person. Have you?"

Betsy Braddock has posed:
Betsy considers that. "From the JLA? No. I did meet an Avenger. Thor. My teammate, Ororo is dating him, I think." She's not entirely sure. "At the very least, they seem quite friendly with each other. He is, as nearly as I have seen, the soul of courtesy. I haven't fought alongside him, though. So, I can't comment on his powers." She flew with him once. It wasn't that exciting.

She shrugs, now. "Beyond that? All I've seen is their marketing. I do know Iron Man was fairly instrumental in helping to restore Mutant Town in NYC, after the Genoshan crisis, but I haven't met him personally, either. I've been more invovled with trying to restore victims of the trafficking rings that sprang up in the aftermath, what with so many displaced mutants all over."

Brian Braddock has posed:
"Would it be fair to say, from your point of view at least, that they seem to be on the up and up?" Brian asks, raising an eyebrow. "I think there is at least a bit of suspicion from the crown though I don't know it to be based on any actual evidence."

"What about the rumors of a bat in Gotham? Perhaps that is why they have sent me here."

Betsy Braddock has posed:
"I haven't a clue about the Bat," Betsy says. "But I'm pretty sure the Avengers on on the up-and-up. I really don't know about the JLA. I do find this whole moonbase thing they've started to be a little over-the-top, but..." She shrugs. "Obviously, one of them has an awful lot of money to burn with their alterego."

She knows how much the resources they must have had to use may cost. And both Braddocks have been around privelege and wealth long enough to know how that world works.

"I suspect if there's distrust back in Whitehall, it's got more to do with the natural suspicion of the political animal than anything the glorified boyscout of Metropolis is doing."

Brian Braddock has posed:
"Probably. Seems like a good enough bloke if you believe the newspapers and television." It is not clear whether or not Brian actually believes it. "Not quite the high standards of the British press, I'm afraid."

"In any event, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt until either they give me, or you, a reason not to."

He reaches for his phone, "Can I interest you in dinner? I'm absolutely famished."

Betsy Braddock has posed:
"Dinner would be lovely," Betsy says now, smiling. "And while we wait for it, why don't you tell me what's got you so twisted up that you're sinking major shares into a distillery? Have you bought that company without telling me? If so, I'd like a piece of it. My club could use the booze."

Her violet eyes gleam some, though there's some concern behind it. Could be he's just enjoying a drink or two. But smelling like the bottle really isn't a good a presentation for the lord of the mannor.

Brian Braddock has posed:
"Bloody hell, you sound like Courtney," Brian replies, immediately putting the topic to the side like he always has. The move across the ocean has ended their relationship, although it was clear that likely would have happened anyways.

Perhaps because of this very topic.

His attention goes to his phone, "Tell me, dear sister, what food are you in the mood for?"

Betsy Braddock has posed:
"What is there out in this god forsaken place?" It's not a stretch to call Gotham god forsake, if the Bat is its most legendary protector. A so-called 'dark knight' as a hero is something of a cause for concern. Goodness knows Brian will be like a bright light in that sort of darkness.

"Do any half-decent curry places deliver?" Brits and their curry are almost as much of a cliche as Indians and their curry. Funny that, really.

Brian Braddock has posed:
Brian begins searching through his phone for the highest rated Indian and Thai places. He'd always preferred the latter.

"I do wonder a great deal about what our first interaction could be like--if I do run into the man at all."

Then, looking at his phone again, he adds an extra thought. "There are areas of the town that are very functional. Once on a business trip to Detroit, I found the same thing. And I have heard similar thoughts about Oakland. Bad parts to be sure, yet a full fledged city has all sorts."

Betsy Braddock has posed:
"It would need to," Betsy says, swirling the amber liquid in her glass before tasting it again. "Otherwise, I imagine SHIELD or someone would have it cordoned off as an irradiated wasteland or something." Something straight out of mutant nightmares. Not that Gotham has ever been a hotbed of mutant activity that she's aware of.

She waits for him to finish making the order before she rises and crosses to the window to look out on this estate. "I heard rumours the man who owned this place last fell afoul of Gotham's lively hero crowd."

Brian Braddock has posed:
"Yes, indeed. In fact, that's how I got such a great deal on it. Not easy to get this sort of view of the Bay at the price I paid. To be honest I haven't done much research on who the man was. Organized crime, I heard," Brian says with a bit of a chuckle. "Can you imagine the sort of parties that may have gone on in this very room? Debaucherous city that this is."

Betsy Braddock has posed:
Betsy chuckles. "Something straight out of Gatsby," she suggests. "Or perhaps the dungeons of the Hellfire Club." Hereditary membership, both of them, and both of them able to afford it in their own right. She's made attending the HFC somewhat less of a priority than it once was in recent months, however. At least in New York.

"It could be interesting to explore the grounds. Man like that? There's bound to be secrets hidden all over." Not unlike Xaviers, she imagines... though she doesn't expect the good professor to ever fall from grace like the former mob boss must have.

Brian Braddock has posed:
"That's not a terrible idea. I've spent the entirety of my time here attempting to get used to the college," Brian replies. And drinking. He's left that part out.

"Perhaps I should take a deeper look at the grounds. Given our proximity to the airport I can imagine there were a ton of places to hide whatever it is that the man brought in to this country."

"The Hellfire Club--I've been meaning to stop by there. Perhaps after school gets started, I might do just that."

Betsy Braddock has posed:
"I haven't been to the Gotham club," Betsy notes. "Only the New York one." She gives a mild shrug. "If you've seen one, you've seen them all." Not quite true. But easier than explaining her conflict with Emma Frost. She suspects that will fade with time, though.

She hopes it will fade with time.

If nothing else, it may reduce the friction when the other telepath shows up among her friends.

She looks back over her shoulder at her brother. "We could start by searching the house, I suppose," she tells him, a mischievous smile on her lips. "To avoid the rain outside. Flush the rats from the basement and the bats from the belfrey."