4440/Auto-traumatic Laundr-o-matic

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Auto-traumatic Laundr-o-matic
Date of Scene: 20 December 2020
Location: Laundry Room
Synopsis: Emma runs into Noriko doing her school chores and makes Noriko cry...er, helps Nori finally talk about some deep trauma in her past. As a reward, she has to do Emma's laundry too.
Cast of Characters: Noriko Ashida, Emma Frost

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Laundry isn't one of Noriko's favorite duties.  Even if she normally runs off and does a thousand things between loads, it still somehow feels like forever for her.  But now, now is one of Noriko's many cat naps she takes throughout the day, like an animal always ready for what may come.

The rumbling of the machines have lulled her into a vulnerable state, slumped back in one of the chairs, her hands folded across her stomach with her elbows, encased metal, rest against the arms of the chair.  Her breathing is alarmingly fast, but deep, like an athlete's in fast forward.  A little hummingbird.

No one else is here.  Noriko can easily handle the whole shift herself, even if it really means she's doing way more work than anyone else, a fact that is not lost on her.  She's never complained, and getting the shift all to herself is way more enjoyable than the forced social interactions that she suspects are being doled out to her by the teachers.

Noriko never seems appropriately dressed for the temperature.  Inside it's less of a contrast though.  She's wearing her Xavier's gear.  It's still a staple of her wardrobe, even a year of part time work.  Today it's a pair of sweats, a faded old Joy Division shirt, and an Xavier's hoodie, left open.

Emma Frost has posed:
    The door to the laundry room opens and a basket full of used but not really dirty clothes, enters the room. Used is how Emma describes her clothes, not dirty, she tends to not get dirty.

    The White Queen enters wearing sweatpants like she had worn around the school when she first entered the building, but seems almost comfortable in them now and a zip up hoodie zipped up to her navel and allowing her skin to be seen a bit with a smirk and a winking face on the front of her undershirt, Emma takes a breath to stop and looks for the empty washing machine she can dump all her clothes into. Because that's how it works. "Noriko." Emma greets as she walks in and smiles towards the blue haired woman and drops her basket in front of the machine she plans on using.

    Door open and then unceremoniously she stuffs her clothes into the machine before trying to figure out how to- Thanks Noriko. Emma smirks softly, as she puts in detergent in the little slot it goes into and then shuts the door and turns on the machine.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Noriko wakes up fast enough to catch the greeting as if she was awake the whole time, but it still startles her.  Her mind races like an animal trying to avoid a car, darting this way and that, up to chance whether she darts into the path of some proverbial vehicle.

There's some minor apprehension in the girl, a reluctance to trust the smile she receives.  "Hi."  Not warm.  Not bitingly cold either.  Noriko is obviously trying to control her emotions though.  There are deep soft stirrings of that old mixture of her typical feelings that she tries to shut up, like someone screaming at themselves.  She watches Emma at the machine, pushing herself up to a position where she won't fall out of her chair.

"You know I'm supposed to do the laundry right?"

Emma Frost has posed:
    "I do now." Emma notes with a look towards Noriko as she leans her back against the side of her machine and lifts an elbow to rest on the top of the machine for extra balance and stability. "Lets just say someone didn't tell me these things and then lets assume I don't trust students to touch my clothes..." Emma notes frosty in her attitude but polite in her demeanor, though it's almost obviously a faux paus, and even a lift of one of her blonde brows.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
"Fine.  I don't trust you either."  Noriko?  Not polite.  There's a sour tone that pervades her words.  She gives in to a brief scowl, before the start of a buzzer gives her an excuse to zip off in the middle of the conversation like someone wanting the last word...to let it sit with Emma.

Noriko never blocked Emma's path to where she is now.  In fact, there are probably faculty that based some of their decision based on how Noriko /was/ acting to her when no one else was reaching out to her.  Yet still...this.

The clothing is is transferred as fast as expected by now and then she's back to slouching in the chair, this time with a purpose of defiance rather than rest, purposefully projecting an opposite, antagonistic air...even if her feelings inside are a jumble of overwhelming emotions.  This girl is used to hiding...from others.  From herself.

Emma Frost has posed:
    "I didn't expect you to." Emma notes as she watches Noriko go about her business, and it's not a counter type of discussion, Emma truly thinks no one here really trusts her, and so she's not going to pretend that they do. Simple as that. She's not going to poke the bear that is Noriko and her attitude, but Emma isn't going to hide from the girl either. She made a mistake, and it taking actions to fix these problems. As best as she can.

    Emma pushes off the washer and moves past her empty basket, setting it on top before she claims a seat in the room, not too far from Noriko, but not super close either.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Like some others that seem to loathe Emma with all their being, there are parts of Noriko's feelings, lots of them actually, that aren't just seated in the actual events she experienced at the hands of the scheme in which Emma was involved.  There are different cages in her mind, metaphorical and literal, flashes of them bubbling up in her mind as her hold on herself begins to unravel.  A Japanese man.  Pain.  Emotional and physical.

Suddenly Noriko bursts out of her seat.  She expects Emma not to see her, but she's a bit preoccupied with trying to run out her feelings and the tears that are welling.  She's buying herself time and privacy that every other woman in the world has to visit the bathroom or their car for.  She may not be explicitly seen, only Emma knows...but she is not in her seat for a noticeable amount of time, especially for the speedster.

Then she's back, breathing deeply and fast, her mind racing as if she hasn't pulled herself back down completely into the moment, into this time.  But she slowly comes down.

Emma Frost has posed:
    "Have a good cry?" Emma asks with a look on her face that she allows to show Noriko that she certainly knows exactly what the woman was doing. Not only because the girl zipped off so fast, but even at super speed, you can't outrun thoughts. Emma remains seated while Noriko was gone, but she didn't really have a lot of time to try and stand up anyways. This time however Emma does and steps closer towards the azure haired girl. "What was that about?" Emma presses, she's not firm or harsh, but she's being a teacher in this moment, there is a hint of care in her tone.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Those shattering and terrifying words.  Noriko's heart falls into her stomach.  She didn't know that the telepaths could read her thoughts at such rates.  She realizes she didn't really know anything at all.  No telepathy needed to see those emotions in her body, in her eyes.  The tension, the dam threatening to burst again.

When Emma comes closer, there's a flash in Noriko's mind, too quick for even Noriko to register, and her sudden start, blipping as she suddenly appears leaned away from Emma, like there's some kind of threat.  It's involuntary, and she eases up a little.  "My father."  No attempt to hide.  It's like Emma found a deep crevice, a crack in the young woman, one not put there by herself.  There's a reason she's this way...but aren't there always reasons with these kids?  She's hardly the only one.

Emma Frost has posed:
    Emma remains standing but leans to one side of her body, resting her weight on her left foot and frowns down to Noriko. "What about him?" She asks quite forwardly and with a softness very rarely seen within her eyes should Noriko steel herself for a chance to look up into the teacher's face. Emma's curious and will help the girl with this break through while waiting for her underwears to get clean a few feet away.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
"I don't want to talk about this," Noriko says, her voice quavering.  Tears do spring from her eyes, trickling down her cheeks.  She doesn't look up.  At first.  But then, there's a pleading in her eyes, in her mind, for mercy.  This, these memories and feelings are ones Noriko runs from in every passing moment, only capable through years of deep repression.  Clearly though, something has begun to fail in her system.

One of the machines Noriko has been using stops, coming to the end of its cycle, but the girl doesn't move a muscle.

Emma Frost has posed:
    "You haven't talked about this." Emma notes. Again, the surface mindreading is simple enough, active thoughts are nonstop for Emma to hear and read and understand, but again, she'll never tell a soul that, and she's leared from her time as a mutant how to have the greatest poker face. But she's also learned how to read people beyond having telepathy. "If you continue to run, you'll always hold yourself back." Emma says. She's no longer inviting Noriko to talk about her father, but to talk about her past should she decide to become a better and more complete person.

    Could Emma erase these memories, yes. Were it for someone that /isn't/ a student of hers, she might have, but no, this is part of the girl. She would change to her very core of her being if these memories were gone. That's not what Emma or this school is about. Or it shouldn't be.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Noriko hasn't even had these conversations with herself, something patently obvious to anyone paying attention to the erratic and acrobatic, defensive thought patterns.  Her eyes drop and she falls into a stare, one inside her own little world, not even realizing that Emma's even more prolonged silence is a product of her own perception.

The sound of Emma's voice as she speaks again whips Noriko back.  She swallows at the lump in her throat.  Noriko knows this side of her isn't who she was, isn't what she was ever meant to be, but then there's a side that tells her she deserves it.  It's a side she tries not to listen to as well.

Noriko grits her teeth, something inside her shifting.  Anger, pain again, but also defiance when she says, "I showed him my powers."  There's a memory and embedded in it is the obvious excitement of a daughter coming to her father, but a tinge of fear too.  Japan is not the most friendlies places to mutants.  She ran to him.  She thought he would protect her.

"And he built a cage."  Noriko now knows what that cage was from her studies.  "Heavily shielded.  He said I would be schooled at home.  They told the neighbors I was ill.  I felt...it felt..."  But there's more, like an anchor, weighing her down still.  Noriko flashes away to splash some cold water on her face before returning.

Emma Frost has posed:
    Emma doesn't cross her arms, she doesn't close herself off from Noriko, but she doesn't reach out to the girl to console her. Not yet. The dam just broke. Best, in Emma's opinion, to allow the water level to lower greatly. Wash away the town below and start fresh. "What did it feel like?" Emma asks, her voice deeper, husky, and firm. Emma asks the one question and expects Noriko to answer, not for her sake, but for the girl's sake. This is a breakthrough that needs to happen. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but this process has been stalled long enough.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
"Death."  The truth is, Noriko may feel that she ceased to be an Ashida when her parents legally orphaned her, but she lost them long ago.  After that day, she was no longer her father's daughter.  Not just someone else's...not human.  Death.  It felt like death, both physically and emotionally.  She's still in the stage of anger, and a denial at what has happened to her.

But the tears won't stop coming, so the words come blubbering out of her. Noriko isn't as tough as she appears.  "I tried to run away, but I was too weak."  This is when her brain is suddenly flooded with an incident, flashes.  The pain, her hands bound to something, her feet bound as well.  Noriko can feel it all like it was yesterday.  She rubs her cold fingertips over her eye, but it isn't to wipe away the tears.  That's a lost cause.

"So then it was drugs."  Noriko's mother bringing her pills, trying to tell her it is for her own good.  The girl couldn't stop this flood, this confession if she tried.  She starts to breathe more rapidly, more spacing out.

Emma Frost has posed:
    Emma finally makes a move that might be seen as emotional and she moves to drop down to her knees before Noriko, and places her hand upon the girl's leg just above the knee. She knows she might not be the person to do this, but she's the person here. She's the woman who is actively here and caring about Noriko. A deep breath and Emma looks into Noriko's face, even if the girl can't reciprocate. "And then?" The worst words Emma could probably say, but she is pushing Noriko to look into her past to see that she's here now, and that she's made it past all of that.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Typically, when Noriko can feel a sharp emotional state coming on, she splits.  It's not just an emotional avoidance technique, it's for the safety of others.  If there's anything that can overload her gauntlets beyond just carrying too much charge, it's the bursts that can sometimes happen when she loses control over herself.  Where Emma touches, there's a sudden eruption of electricity radiating outward from the place of impact and up Emma's hand.

Noriko, always hyperaware of this, doesn't even seem to notice.  Numbed when she admits the next part.  "I left my brother there."  How isn't important to the girl.  It never even enters her mind.  This is how singularly focused she is on the matter.  She left a part of herself behind, so many parts broken off through time.  Noriko blinks back into the present, eyes locked with Emma's, widening before darting down to where the electricity continues to dance to Emma's hand.

Emma Frost has posed:
    A purely hyperphysical reaction, Emma's body at the first sign of the extreme pain, and all her skin and hair even changes into diamond, saving the woman from the brunt of the pain and injury from the electrical discharge going up her arm and down her side into the ground below her feet. "Did you actively leave him as a way to ensure your own escape, or was it you trying to survive in the moment while not having the capacity to think of anything, or anyone else..." Emma's voice sounding crystaline, and almost hollow now to her altered vocal chords and she looks up into Noriko with those impossible eyes that can be nearly seen through, as she pushes the girl even more.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Emma's sudden transformation, well it shocks Noriko.  There's a brief look of confusion.  Her breathing hasn't slowed.  "I...don't know," she says as she searches her mind.  "I don't remember everything."  Even that seems to charge the girl with guilt.

"But I never went back," she says as if this is a part of her now.  "That was four years ago."  Surely, Noriko's younger brother could have manifested powers by now.  It's kind of difficult to ignore crystalline eyes bearing down on her.  "I left him," she says in disbelief, as if she'd broken some sacred oath.

Emma Frost has posed:
    "Only if you don't do anything now that you're in a place where you're not in danger." Emma says, lifting her hand this time to touch on Noriko's cheek. "Only if you don't take what you've learned and tried to reach out and help your brother. That is when you've abandoned him. You can't help someone when you yourself need help." Emma nods slowly, knowing that to be true. A truth she's living currently. Again. Emma takes a breath though she doesn't need to, and stands up, pulling her hands away and allowing her skin to return and the diamond protections to fade away. "Don't ruin my clothes." Emma says with a look to Noriko as she moves towards the door, pausing long enough to look back. Seems Noriko has earned some of Emma's trust.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
But to Noriko, she's already that person.  She doesn't know how to help her brother because she doesn't know how to help herself.  She's tried, and her way isn't working.  Her house of cards has been set ablaze.  Emma's words feel insurmountable.  This doesn't feel like progress.  It feels like she's burning up with that house, though in truth, it is burning away to show her true foundation, who she really is.  Just a brave, mistreated and broken kid who wants to feel whole again.

Noriko doesn't register what Emma says on her way out, but she does look over to her, the lost, haunted look never leaving her eyes.  But no fear.  Emma knows what Nori was hiding now...from everyone, and with that, it's as if the unbidden power over Noriko has somewhat lifted, but it leaves her alone with her thoughts.  She nods somberly to Emma.