(2016-09-08) It's Not You. It's Wisdom.
It's Not You. It's Wisdom.
Summary: Tired after her flight back to the states, Amanda asks James Proudstar to come over. It doesn't go as she had hoped.
Date: 2016-09-08
Related: None
NPCs: None
Scene Runner: NA
Social/Plot: Social

It's late in the evening when James Proudstar's phone rings and the display shows Amanda Sefton's number.

James doesn't need a lot of sleep so is readily available to answer the phone. Taking a look at the caller ID/contact list he raises an eyebrow and answers the phone:

"Hello Amanda, it's been a long time."

James does his best to keep his tone neutral.

Amanda Sefton's voice sounds tired when she answers, "Sorry about that. I've been… unavailable. Something happened while I was overseas on a flight. Do you have some time? I could use your help if possible. I understand if you have other things occupying you."

James voice goes from neutral to concerned in no time flat: "Of course Amanda, if I can help I will. I'll be right over unless you want to whisk me away with a spell of some sort. Otherwise I'll need a bit to fly there." Holding the phone to his ear, he starts throwing on shirt, jeans, boots… for some reason he doesn't think flying in a pair of boxers will really give the 'to the rescue' image.

Amanda Sefton murmurs softly, "Thank you, James. I don't think I should be using magic right not except at need or with necessary purpose. At least not until you get here." Amanda doesn't think she should be using magic? "Flight time will be fine. Feel free to just land on the balcony. I will leave the outside door unlocked."

"Alright Amanda. Is this something you can talk about over the phone or will it need to be face to face?" James is already pulling his hair back into a tail because flying with it unrestrained is a bad idea, except when he wore it short. It doesn't take long before he is jumping out his own window and into the air, the sound of wind rushing by growing loud but, he can still hear any reply. She might even hear him mutter something about hoping he doesn't get any bugs in his teeth, or worse.

Amanda Sefton rubs her eyes as she listens to the roar of the wind through the phone. "I'd prefer not to give the details to the NSA actually. Not that it would hurt me to do so, I just don't want to."

"Alright, be there shortly." James hangs up the phone and focusses on flying. It's not fun to him, flying, he doesn't know precisely how he does it, which strikes him as magic… like the Thunderbird is carrying him through the air and what if it were to drop him? The damage he'd do smashing through someone's house would be terrible, even if it likely wouldn't hurt him to overmuch.

Gritting his teeth James pushes his flight as fast as he can, approaching 200 mph which, is much better than a car can do especially as he isn't bound by roads but nowhere near as fast as many. Going from Westchester to New York City is still a bit of a flight but James does end up landing on Amanda's balcony and pulling his hair loose from it's tie before he gently knocks on the sliding glass door on the balcony and then steps inside.

Amanda Sefton is seated on the sofa where she is easily seen from the door when he enters. She pushes up and turns to face him when he comes in. She looks as tired as she sounded over the phone. "It's good to see you James." She's still wearing her flight attendant uniform since she hasn't taken the time to change since getting home.

"Mmmm." James answers nonverbally and then shuts the glass door behind him, "Roommates?" He asks before he mentions anything that might be… well, damning in some opinions.

Amanda Sefton shakes her head, "They're both covering the round-the-world routes I used to do right now. Two weeks minimum before either of them comes home this time." She runs a hand through her hair and tugs it down in the process from the up-do she keeps it in for work. She stands still rather than approaching him, letting him decide on his distance and say anything he needs to before she explains why she asked for his help.

Once that's out of the way James nods and walks over towards Amanda and then goes to give her a hug, not a romantic hug, just a friendly supportive hug, "You look like hell Amanda." He rumbles softly, not pushing the issue of why she might need his help just yet and offering his presence, if she is willing to accept the hug, or return it at least.

Amanda Sefton is instantly grateful for the hug and simply leans into it for a moment. "The hop across from JFK to Heathrow or Heathrow to JFK is a really long flight. Worse when you're not 100 percent when you start. I'm really tired but I didn't think I was going to be able to sleep again. The last couple of nights have been really bad."


James holds the hug as long as she seems to need it, listening to what she says and he smiles faintly, "Why has sleep been so hard to come by?" He asks in a soft rumble, reaching up with one hand to lightly run fingers on her back and shoulders… light for him at least, looking for any stiff muscles to rub loose. "What's made the nights so bad?" He asks curiously.

Amanda Sefton finally loosens her hold on him, "I am feeling very vulnerable right now and I need you to tell me if it's all in my head or if I have something to worry about. You can do that right? If I use my magic you can look at me and tell me if things look the same as they did before?"

"I don't know… maybe." James answers with a bit of a frown as he looks down at her. "I don't know exactly how it works but… I should be able to see any weaknesses that can be exploited." He considers, "It might be better for me to look on my own first without the influence of your magic. If it's a magical vulnerability it might hide itself from your own magic. I mean… otherwise how would you not find it on your own right?" He guesses, "If I don't see anything different, we can try the boost."

Amanda Sefton nods very slightly, "Well the main problem is I think there is something wrong, but I know there probably shouldn't be. So … my ability to determine if it's real is compromised. She closes her eyes as if that might somehow make a difference. If he were to examine her just now, he'd see she's weaker on the left as if attacking her from her left side would be more efficient, magically speaking than from her right.

James is always examining, it's not something he can turn on and off, it's just always there when it comes to magic and magical phenomenon, spirits, demons, etc. Looking at her now though and trying to notice any differences he takes a step back and focuses his gaze on her, looking for things at the most minute details, trying to pick apart everything he can see for minutiae that might be different. "You're out of balance." He says after a few moments, "It's like half of you is weaker, the left half… if your magic is based from your heart or solar plexus I'd say you might have something of a block… or maybe like a stroke, it's the right half of the brain effected crossing over and affecting the left but you're weaker on the left side."

His words immediately prompt Amanda to rub at her left breast as though it hurts. She draws a long breath then murmurs, "That's what I was hoping was in my head. I've been feeling off for a while now." She reaches out to draw him into another hug. "At least I'm not bleeding every time I exert myself anymore. That was always on the left too now that you mention it."

"Bleeding?" James asks, concern now heavily in his voice and expression again as he looks down at her, "Amanda… what is going on. I can't help if you don't talk to me. I…" He pauses, "I know I'm not Kurt, and that I can't ever replace him for you, but I am your friend, and I do care about you so please… let me help. What happened? You didn't get magically attacked while working as a flight attendant."

Amanda Sefton actually flinches at the mention of Kurt's name. She's too tired to hide it tonight. But she has to think for a moment before answering, "Pete had me investigate something for him while I was in England. It went very badly. He had me in a blood ward in case something went wrong and the backlash slammed me into the ward a couple of times. It was basically like being thrown headfirst into a brick wall. MI-13's doctor says I am going to be fine though."

"What were you investigating? Does any of this have to do with your keeping a man unconscious in your roommates bedroom for days at a time?" James asks but he doesn't pull away, not pushing about the flinch either. "I thought Wisdom was investigating the lost multiverse… how is that connected to this?"

Amanda Sefton nods once, "He's doing that too I'm sure. But he intercepted something during the fiasco at Grand Central and I was trying to find out what it was so we could know how to deal with it safely. Turned out to be something pretty dangerous so I'm glad it's not floating around out there."

James does frown at that, "I thought you were going to have me be there next time you tried magic, in case a rift opened, so I could deal with whatever is on the other side." He doesn't sound terribly hurt, only a little, more disappointed than hurt though. "Sometimes I really hate how this world see's me, almost everyone looks at me like I'm still a kid, like I don't know what I am doing, just because I wasn't around at the very beginning…. it's frustrating."

Amanda Sefton nods, "I was going to, but I pulled an overseas flight and Pete asked me to look at the thing while I was there. I didn't think asking you to fly over to England on short notice was an option. Should I have?" She draws back to look up at him. "I wasn't treating you like a kid. I was treating you like a person who has a life outside of dropping everything to come be at my beck and call."

"You do know we have a hypersonic jetplane right? A trip to England? Not that long of a thing…" James says with a small smile, "Let alone the teleporters we have at the mansion." He sighs softly and then moves over towards the couch to sit down, gently, so as to not break anything. "I would have come to help Amanda. Having someone who can see the weaknesses of magical constructs and things might have been handy you know? So why is it your left side? Did you hit the ward on your left side, or is it an old wound?"

Amanda Sefton rubs at her left breast again. "Because… it marked me. The thing in the case he intercepted was a warded box containing something particularly nasty. When I scried it, it reached back through my scrying window. It touched me before I could shut down the connection. The mark is gone now but I still feel strange like there's a hole where it was."

"Sounds like it still has a piece of you." James rumbles softly, "There may not be a multiverse, but there are still many dimensions of this one. Heaven. Hell. Asgard. The Summer Lands. Many more, I'm sure you know more about them than I do. Even if whatever was in that box was taken care of, it's essence might have just retreated to it's home dimension… where it's taken a part of you with it."

Amanda Sefton whispers, "There was a piece of its summoning on my flesh. I was defending it unconsciously. Pete had to cut it out of me."

James frowns, "Let me guess, on your left breast?" He rubs his face with his hands, "I'd ask to see it, to see if I could determine anything but… hardly seems appropriate now." He leans forwards, "Could you teleport an attack team to it's dimension?"

Amanda Sefton nods before murmuring, "Yes. There's nothing to see physically any longer since Pete cut it out and used something to repair the area, but it's not feeling back to normal. It's nothing Pete did of course. He took every precaution he could.. And I could open a rift to its dimension if I had a lock on the signature of the dimension but I don't. I need to encounter it at least once more before I will have that. I've been too busy playing defenses to get enough data about it."

"Well, I can see things you and Pete do not. Like any mystical mark that might be left…" James rumbles with a slight shrug, "Which is why I offered." He frowns, "We should put a team together, to be ready to move the next time this thing tries for you and then we can go on the offensive." He smiles a little, "Sometimes being part of a team has benefits Amanda." He says with only a touch of playfulness there.

Amanda Sefton smiles faintly at that. "Are you trying to recruit me to join the X-Men, James Proudstar? Aren't you a mutants only team?"

"Not at all." James says with a wider smile, "We also house aliens, and since you're not from this universe, you would definitely count as one of those." He stands up and walks over towards her, "And no, I am not a recruiter for the X-Men Amanda… It's not like that's the only team I've been on myself. Just that having a team that is always there and ready to be counted on can be a very good thing." He reaches to place his large hands gently on the outside of her shoulder as he looks down at her. "I know you are a private person Amanda. That there are parts of you that you keep hidden and that is fine. It is your life to live how you choose… but you are only alone… if you want to be."

Amanda Sefton nods, "I know I never have to be alone. I have friends here." She pauses a long moment, "You know that's why I'm not with Kurt right? I'm not the woman he loves even if I look like her. It makes him sad every time he remembers I'm not her. I can see it when it happens. It hurts to see his grieve over her because of me. We'll always be friends, but I just don't think he will ever be ready to love me that way. I can't ask that of him."

"I remember you telling me that before Amanda." James rumbles softly. "Just like I know, in your heart, Kurt will always hold it and there's no way I can compete with that, and it's not even right to try. So I am going to be here, as your friend, as family, and I will do my best to do right by you to make sure you have support and aren't alone, and maybe we can get you home, to your Kurt. I won't ask you to give up on your world, your past, or your feelings Amanda. I am not that selfish."

Amanda Sefton reaches up to stroke his cheek softly, "I lost my Kurt long before I was brought here. I tried to find him more than once and he just wasn't there to be found. Either he was no longer there or something else was keeping us apart. I don't think I want to go back to that."

James sighs softly at the touch of Amanda's fingers to his cheek and he reaches up with one large hand to cup over hers gently there. "I don't know what to say to that Amanda. Every time I think I've got things figured out… turns out I don't." He looks down into her face, searching her expression for… who knows what. "Every time I thought we were progressing somewhere you would bring Kurt up like a shield… and it really feels like I can't compete with those memories. Does that make any sense at all?"

Amanda Sefton whispers, "I don't use Kurt as a shield. He's just still a part of my life. I love him very much. I won't apologize for that. I don't think I should have to. I understand if you don't want to invest emotions into someone who's got such complicated feelings for another man. I don't want you to get hurt, but that's not what I was doing. I do try not to make a comparison."

"I'm not asking for an apology." James says simply, bluntly, "I'm just trying to communicate… something I am not very good at." He shakes his head again and lowers her hand from his face as he takes a step back. "I don't know what you want Amanda. Out of me. Out of us. Out of anything. It's hard to get anywhere starting from such shaky ground. Even though you do try not to make a comparison, you are still in love with another man. How can I possibly compete with that? I will always be the intruder, the other man…" He pauses, "I am more than willing to be your friend Amanda, and I will do anything in my power to help you but I don't know what else we can be all things considered. You are a beautiful, brilliant, and sexy woman Amanda and I don't want to ask more of you than you can give, or vice versa. Ok?"

Amanda Sefton opens her mouth to say he doesn't have to compete with Kurt even though she still loves him, but she stops short before saying it. It's perhaps kinder if she does not say it. She's more then willing to care for the people she loves despite the cost to herself. In the end she simply nods and murmurs, "I understand." She steps a little further away and lets the distance fall between them. "Can you help me think of a list of people to ask to be a part of this strike force? I don't mean tonight. I know it's very late tonight. Just think about it and give me suggestions?"

"An extra-dimensional strike force…" James says after a few moments of thought, letting her shift the conversation away from the personal without conflict, probably because it's all just to confusing for Proudstar who has the emotional range of a teaspoon apparently. "Rachel, Illyana, Ghost Rider if we can find him… I don't know a lot of others who might be willing to just jump onto the crazy train so to speak."

Amanda Sefton nods at the names presented, "Illyana I am familiar with. I've not met Rachel. What can you tell me about her?" She lets the business at hand push her emotions away for the time being.

"Rachel Grey, telepath, telekinetic, time traveller from another timeline from before it was in vogue. Also a host or the Phoenix Force in the past. She did a lot of dimension jumping with Excalibur back in the day as well, very powerful, and very experienced. She's a good person who once let Galactus kill her for the sake of the planet… well that was the plan but Death herself intervened apparently. I wasn't there. There's only like three people who are stronger telepaths than her maybe."

James also adds with a smile, "She's a very good person to have in a fight."

Amanda Sefton nods, "Sounds like it. I assume I can find her out at the school to talk to her rather than having to scry her out?"

James nods, "Most of the time. She teaches more classes and regularly than I do. So should be easy enough to make an appointment."

Amanda Sefton nods, "I should be able to catch her between flights. I asked them to put me on some shorter runs again until I recover. As far as the Airline knows I spent more of the last week or so in a hospital under doctor's orders in Britain."

"Wait…" James frowns, "I thought you said you were on back to back flights, what's this about being stuck in Britain for a week?" He folds his arms across his chest, "That thing you did for Wisdom didn't sound like it'd take a week to do."

Amanda Sefton pats her breast lightly as she settles onto the soft again, "I was under magical quarantine for a while because of being marked. It took a while for us to decide on a way to remove the thing."

"So for a week you were quarantined, when you had someone who could have looked at the mark and told you it's weakness just a phone call away." James says deadpan now. "You decided to let Wisdom /cut/ a part of you away… rather than call me."

Amanda Sefton shakes her head, "Calling you was not an option that Mister Wisdom offered me. I was put into quarantine while I was anesthetized. I had no phone and was behind a ward circle made to cut off all my contact with the world outside the room. In case you were not aware, our dear friend, Peter, is rather paranoid where potential magical threats are concerned. Especially if one happens to be in Britain."

"Anesthetized?!" James practically shouts, "So he kept you locked up, unconscious, and unable to do a damned thing until he decided to /cut/ a part of you off?!" Hands clench into fists, "I'm going to fucking kill him." He says softly, at least he's not yelling anymore, but in a way it's worse. James' eyes actually start to glow red a bit in the shadows cast by his brow and bangs. "He won't get away with this."

Amanda Sefton frowns, "Well… some of that's true, but please calm down. He didn't keep me unconscious. He just kept me locked up until I realized how it could be removed." She pauses, "I was defending it whether I wanted to or not. So he thought he'd trick me into getting put under then have it removed while I was under. The process almost killed me so he put me in a warded locked room instead until we could figure out how to remove it without it killing me."

"That doesn't make it remotely right." James rumbles in a growl. "All it is, is him playing God with your life. He is a serious control freak and needs to be educated that lives are not his to throw away or use as he sees fit."

Under the circumstances, Amanda refrains from mentioning that she had to be conscious and able to feel it when the mark was removed. Just doesn't seem like something James could handle at the moment. "He was a bit high-handed yes, but I believe he was worried I was possessed and about to go drain the magic from some priceless British artefacts before causing all manner of havoc so I have decided to cut him a little slack on that front."

"Are you /defending/ him?" James asks, "You are." He answers his own question and looks appalled. "This decision he's made for you has hurt you, in more ways than one. There were other options but his answer, his /only/ answer, is those knives of his. He thinks they solve every problem but they don't." He shakes his head and starts for the door, "I'll try and get in touch with Rachel and Illyana…you see if you can track down the spirit of vengeance. I've got to go."

Amanda Sefton sighs at the looks he gives her then calls after him plaintively, "James…" She refrains from actually asking him not to go. She understands why he's angry after all. She spent part of her week in quarantine thinking about unpleasant things to do to Pete when she got him in her sphere of influence…. before she was able to talk herself out of it.

James pauses, one hand on the sliding glass door as he prepared to duck and step sideways through it once he got it open. He doesn't quite look back, but he doesn't say anything either, he just waits.

Amanda Sefton stares at him back as all the things she might like to say to him go through her head. Stay. Please don't do anything rash. You make a fairly good substitute for Kurt… She doesn't say any of that though. Instead she says, "Thank you for coming when I called." She said that already and it's fairly lame to repeat it so she adds, "You don't know how much that means to me. I'm sorry I upset you."

"It's not you." James rumbles, "It's Wisdom." And then James is out on the balcony, shutting the door behind him before he leaps off the balcony but he doesn't fly… no he just falls and hits the ground hard, needing to feel the shock of impacts on his feet. Needing to feel the cement beneath him as he walks and does his best not to flip over any cars or rip any sign posts out of the ground. Hands get jammed into his pockets and he just walks into the New York Night.

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