(2014-05-29) What About Wooing?
What About Wooing?
Summary: After their rather meaningful time at the Lunar Villa, Emma and Laurel have not seen or heard from one another in a while. Laurel puts an end to that.
Date: 2014-05-29
Related: Various
Scene Runner: NA
Social/Plot: Social

Emma didn't call. She didn't write. She didn't reach out and initiate contact at all. But when Laurel arrived at the school, she most certainly didn't send the other woman away. Instead, she welcomed her once again, and guided Laurel up to her office. Her private rooms would have been more comfortable, but it also would have been noticeable to others around the school - staff and students alike - that Emma was entertaining a guest in her rooms rather than her office. And that is just not something Emma is eager to deal with right now. Not that she thinks anyone deserves the right to comment on her life, but she really values her privacy and the barriers she has erected. Appearing human, as if she has friends and people she cares about, doesn't fit in with her plan here.

Emma's going to need to deal with all of that somehow, and sooner rather than later.

Once inside the office, Emma closes the door and then activates a switch that is beside the light switch on the wall, beneath a cover screen. For a moment, there is a soft hum throughout the room, but soon enough that is gone. And the sheer weight of the student's and staff's minds are lifted from Emma, who actually visibly relaxes, a hint of rigid tension in her spine and shoulders easing as she turns around and makes her way over to the sofa, rather than her chair behind her desk. She motions for Laurel to join her.

"It's nice to see you, Laurel. I didn't ask, and perhaps I should have: is this a social call?" Emma inquires. Best to start off with clarity, right?

"I happen to believe that one should see their girlfriend as often as possible." Laurel says with a bright smile. "Especially," she teases, "when they're too busy to text or email or call." She walks over and kisses Emma's white painted lips softly. "Our trip to the Moon happened, dear. I'm not letting you wiggle out of it just by ignoring it. You don't get that luxury and neither do I."

Emma accepts the kiss without protest, and welcomes a brief embrace associated with it. Then she regards Laurel curiously. "Ah. So that would be 'yes'. This is a social call." Emma lets a hunt of a smile shape her lips. "That is, dear, why I asked the question. Since I live at my place of work, I am forced to clarify if you are here to see me in a social capacity before I am free to assume that truth, and any behaviors associated with it." Yep. Emma is incredibly formal. But she really does have her reasons.

"I am well aware that the latest trip to the moon occured." Emma smiles a bit more genuinely, now, though it is still a restrained thing. Could be it anything else, when dealing with Emma? "Nor am I trying to pretend it did not." However, though Emma does not say it, it should be readily apparent that she does not have the usually ingrained instincts that demand constant contact with friends, or those even closer to that. Then again, it wouldn't be hard to imagine Emma might not even /have/ friends. It may all honestly be rather alien to her at this point.

Laurel lets out a very long sigh. "We've got a lot of work to do." She says. "And it starts with a bit of romance. I know you understand romance. You've used it to manipulate people in the past." She's not basing the explanation on experience. Just on the understanding that Emma will use any advantage she can get. "Well, imagine you are manipulating me into loving you. And then take appropriate action. I wish to be wooed."

Keenly aware of the constnat interplay of dominance and submission, Emma is keenly aware, as she listens to Laurel, that what amounts - to her - to 'topping from the bottom' is in the offing, here. In the classic subculture, submissives in fact hold the power in the relationship, for without them the dominant has no one to dominate, and the submissive can decide at any time to withdraw their acceptance and surrender. Many never do, of course. That is part of what keeps the mystery and power of the relationship alive for both parties.

Emma accepted Laurel's surrender to her, without accepting any arrangements or agreements about what would be appropriate behavior for them. And now, she is discovering what it is Laurel requests - requires - for them to continue. Emma hasn't really 'wooed' someone before. She has flirted, surely, and manipulated most definitely. She has used her wiles to her advantage in countless encounters, with men and with women with equal aplumb. But she has generally found that just a hint of flirting and sensuality, paired with the otherwise perpetual cold shoulder and 'hard to get', was all that was required. She let others do the persuing.

Which does not mean that Emma doesn't know how. It's just not at all her 'go to' status. "It is good that you have told me this." Emma begins, nodding affirmatively. "If you wish to be wooed, then I will endeavor to do so."

But before Emma continues along that line, she lifts a finger, pressing it lightly to Laurel's lips. "First, however, we should address one more thing. Understand, Laurel, that my work and my life here at the school is of tantamount importance to me. That means that I /must/ maintain a certain degree of decorum and authority here. You are more than welcome to visit me here. But there will be /no/ displays of affection between us, except in secured and private rooms. My office is suitable. I also have private residential rooms here. And there are other places. But only when we are in those places and assured of privacy can we relax our demeanor. Otherwise, it is likely best that we arrange to meet away from the school." It's not that Emma thinks Laurel won't understand this. But if they are setting out the boundaries for their time together, this is one Emma cannot afford to simply assume.

Laurel listens to the rules. She digests them. Once, she entertained trying a relationship with her friend Karen. That was before she and Karen grew so close that becoming lovers would lead to disaster. Still, she reflects in that moment, it would be less of a dance than this.

"Alright." Laurel says before kissing the finger against her silver lips. "No sign that Emma Frost has a girlfriend outside of your private spaces." She agrees. "Here." She agrees. Another kiss. "Your homes, wherever they might be. That club you belong to." Yes, Laurel knows about that. Though she doesn't know the truth depth of what lays inside the Hellfire Club's bossom.

Emma smiles, and loosens up a bit, sliding closer against Laurel as her other hand reaches to take the other woman's in her own. "We can go out in public as lovers, if you wish. But not here, at the school. We can do so at the Club, if you are interested." Not that Emma would recommend it, but she will not place barriers against Laurel, or their relationship, without reason beforehand. There is none of which she is aware where the Club is concerned. "I have several homes. I confess, I do not visit them often, since I began working here. The only other place where I would ask that we maintain the same … distance? Would be at the offices of Frost International, if we ever had reason to visit those together."

The pale yet perfect woman in white smiles, and draws Laurel's hand to her lips, brushing her knuckles with those white-painted lips. "The limits I am placing are not about being ashamed of us. They are about maintaining good order and discipline here at the school." If Laurel wishes to be wooed? Emma will do so, with flair and pannache.

"I would never undermine your position here." Laurel agrees, smiling as she's treated to such a romantic gesture. "And while I'm not ashamed of the idea of a bachanelia, I don't think I need to be there as well." She also isn't deny permission for Emma to be there as a part of their relationship. "I am here to be your lover. Perhaps, someday, your true love. Not to be the woman who harms your ability to do your job or your reputation in your world. I know both are important to you, Emma."

Emma nods. "Nor do I believe that would be your intention. But I felt laying that out openly would be best for both of us. I also hoped it would help explain why I was so formal and austere when I greeted you, and brought you to the office." Emma isn't insensitive. She may have to think a bit about other people to realize how words and deeds affect them, but she's quite capable of doing so. In fact, it's quite natural for her. She just isn't used to doing so in the question of an actual interpersonal relationship. "I would dare say, Laurel, you are here to be an ambassador for peace, a beacon of hope, and a heroine to those in need. That you wish to add to that being my lover is an honor and a pleasure. But I recognize that I am in fourth place in your world, just as you have accepted you are not always going to be first in mine." This is how grown-ups and adults build a relationship: one prickly, delicate inch at a time.

"You are right, of course. If I have to choose between you and saving someone in need, I will feel sorrow at the decision but I will save that person." Laurel admits the truth of it. Like a doctor or a cop, she's always on call. She has no choice. It will never be family and friends and loved ones first. "That doesn't mean I can't take a night off." She smiles. "I can always get someone to cover for me while you're covering me." She winks at the turn of phrase.

Emma smiles, and leans closer as the hand not holding Laurel's own slides to the other woman's waist, drawing them closer together. "And all of that is as it should be, or you would not be the woman who captured my imagination enough for me to try this." This being 'a relationship', however skewed and weird it might be for others. "It can sometimes be a bit more difficult for me to take a night off, but that is only because I have fewer to cover for me." Maybe that will change with time? One can hope. "I am rather glad that you chose to come by today. It has been quite a trying day, to be honest." And Emma has no one to whom she can unburden herself and show weakness, save Laurel.

Laurel enjoys the closeness. The warmth. She taps her armor's releases to let the breastplate fall to the floor with a thunk. There's no need for that barrier between them. She nuzzles her cheek against Emma's and is happy to remember that, despite the woman's reputation as an ice queen, the Headmistress of Xavier's is anything but when you touch her. Her skin as warm as any human's. Perhaps warmer. "You can tell me about your day." She says.

Emma isn't one to clean up after others, but she'd be lying if she said she didn't have the urge to pick up that armor and put it away, rather than leaving it on her floor. Still, she welcomes the chance to rest against Laurel for a bit, and so leaves it where it lies. She can control her OCD-like urges for order for a bit.

"One of the students is having a very trying time of it, right now. She has always been filled with resentment and anger. Her home life did not mix well with the presence of a perceived 'perfect' cousin, to whom she felt constantly compared in an unfavorable light." Emma doesn't say whether that perception was accurate or not. To her, it doesn't matter.

"When she came into her powers, it was in a manner she does not understand. In fact, no one we know of does. She has become a hybrid, of sorts, through some event of which no one seems to be aware. Then she discovered that the cousin she'd always resented was in fact a powered alien, adopted into her related family in secret. This compounded her resentment issues. The two are still not reconciled." Emma explains.

"Nevertheless, the student has a good heart, and has in fact been doing her best to act in a heroic role, outside of the school. Her anger issues have been reasonably under control, and she has done quite a bit of good." Emma's lips purse, as one hand's fingers lift to massage her temple. "This past weekend, however, her anger issues arose during a confrontation with a figure who hurt her. She lashed out. And then did not prevent when another figure augmented her attack, apparently destroying the target of her momentary rage."

Emma sighs. Right now, she is filled with a great deal of self-loathing, blaming herself for the apparent murder of her target. She had not returned to school for classes, and when I found her, she stated it was her intention to withdraw from the school, and find a way to get rid of her powers, in some vain quest to free herself from the burden of guilt she was carrying."

"I see." Laurel says. Deciding that, perhaps, leaning against each other while standing will grow awkward after a while, she draws Emma over to a loveseat and drops down. Emma gets to sit on her lap. "Supergirl." Laurel's got an agile mind and she knows part of this already from talks with Karen. "And Power Woman." Her best friend. "Power Woman is giving her cousin distance but I think that needs to end. Clearly, she needs the influence. The help. Not everyone adjusts well to having powers."

"I was trying to be respectful of my students' privacy. But yes." Emma answers, smiling. She seems quite content to settle on Laurel's lap, as they readjust together. "I agree that she needs help and guidance. I am doing what I can to provide that. It is my job, after all. I do not know that introducing Power Woman to this situation will help. Neither do I know that it will not. I /do/ know that Supergirl's resentments against her cousin have /not/ improved much, and given her recent temper they are very likey to boil over if Power Woman comes in uninvited." How wonderfully complicated for everyone. "She assaulted me, trying to prove a point. It was not easy to restrain myself from turning her brain to goo. I have what you might call an exceptionally keen instinct for self-preservation."

"I'm sorry you had to deal with that." Laurel says. She lays her cheek against Emma's and closes her eyes. She breathes in the combination of expensive hair product, expensive perfume, expensive lotions. "She shouldn't have assaulted you but I understand her frustration. I encountered it back in school. Kids who felt bad about themselves or who struggled and saw me excelling as an athlete and as a student. They wanted a target and they chose themselves subconsciously and me consciously. For Supergirl, I think it is the same way."

Emma nods, as she closes her eyes and just lets herself truly relax - almost entirely - against Laurel. "That is my analysis as well." And when the telepath says that, it carries a good deal of weight. "I am doing what I can to try to instill a more positive self-image for the girl, but that is going to take time. In the meantime, she is blaming herself for what she views as a 'murder'. I am reasonably sure the creature in question is not in fact dead, because it was not in fact alive in the first place. I am equally sure that, since its body or remains were not found, it was not destroyed, either, and will return. But until then, her self-loathing has reached new heights, and she is doing all she can to project that outwards as much as she is inward. Short of some rather substantial psychic surgery, there is little I can do to help her in the short term. I accomplished a small miracle just getting her to come back to the school and stay enrolled here."

Laurel strokes that gorgeous and perfectly styled hair. She combs her fingers through it, hoping it brings a moment of relaxation and pleasure to her lover. "Fighting a bank robber is an easy fix." She says. "You stop the robber. The end. Ending a real problem, though? Poverty or sexism or just the self-esteem of a young woman who believes life has been hitting her over and over again for so long she can't remember when she wasn't fighting? Those solutions take time."

Emma chuckles softly. "Perhaps that is precisely the arrangement I need to consider. Being so … cerebral … in my own nature, I have never been one to find much catharsis in conflict." Not of the physical variety, anyway. And she's not supposed to be teaching the children her /other/ kinds of conflict resolution. Charles would not appreciate that in the least. No no. "But perhaps, being such a physical being, she would find greater release with the chance to 'beat something up.'" Emma may start interspersing the thrice-weekly counseling sessions she was intending, with some more regular one-on-one Danger Room sessions. Perhaps it really can help. "I know it will take time. But I'm trying to head off the powderkeg, to give her the chance to grow. I don't want her to have to go through what I did, let alone her own version of it."

"She may very well be the most powerful person on the planet under the age of eighteen." Laurel says, quite seriously. "And her going… rogue due to anger issues would be very, very bad. Still. I hate to say this, but perhaps we should find you a shard of Kryptonite. Just in case. She has the potential for a great deal of damage. A great deal of harm. She could devestate your school and students in mere seconds."

Emma might argue the point, but she would have to agree that M'gann is not /really/ under the age of eighteen, though she certainly seems like it. "She is that powerful, it is true. As her cousin said when asking us to contact her, half of nigh-infinity is still seemingly infinite to most." Emma's math teacher would cringe at that description, but that's just too damned bad. But Emma shakes her head at the suggestion. "Charles has already taken steps in that regard, should it truly be required. But that is part of the entire point of keeping a telepath of my magnitude on staff: I don't have to punch her. Just stop her. And her mind is not nearly so resilient that she can resist me if I /have/ to control her." Emma hates being that brutal, even when it can be effective. She has always been more in favor of a delicate, precise touch. "Still, I greatly appreciate that you would take such a risk to help me." After all, how would Laurel's best friend react to her securing /Kryptonite/ for someone like Emma?

That's a good question. Especially since Laurel wouldn't try to sneak it past Karen. She'd ask for her help, directly. "Enough about Supergirl for the moment. She isn't why I came, though I welcome the chance to listen to your problems and about your day." She slowly leans downward, drawing Emma with her so they can cuddle together in a reclining position. "I came to see and spend time with you, after all."

"Naturally." Emma offers, smiling. She seems quite willing to let the subject of Supergirl go. It simply has been quite heavily on her mind. Talking it out is an odd luxury for her, and helps her to divest herself of the burden, so that she can better relax and enjoy herself in Laurel's company. "So. Why don't you tell me about your past few days. How have you been?" Besides 'longing for you to get over yourself and call me.' They covered that already. Right?

Indeed they did. Laurel laughs, though, at the small jest on Emma's part. "Alright. Dealing with the occasional problem. Helping Power Woman and Iron Man however I can. They're building a new headquarters for the League." She shares without giving details. "I had a lovely worship session with Diana the other night. Paying tribute to Demeter for the coming of spring. I enjoyed that."

"That does sound positively lovely. I imagine getting to know the Aamazon Ambassador is quite a treat." Emma offers, without the bristling some might expect. It's not that Emma is somehow unaware of just how staggeringly beautiful Princess Diana is. She has simply accepted that for Laurel, Emma fits what she is looking for. Her perception, accurate or not, is that Laurel views Diana largely like a sister. "You two have so much in common." It is the kind of bond Emma herself does not have, and may never be able to find with anyone. She is glad, though, that Laurel does not face that same loneliness. "So. We have not discussed this sort of thing. What sorts of activities do you enjoy, socially speaking?" If Emma is to start wooing Laurel, she'll need some guidance. She could just take it telepathically. But the social niceties are all a part of proper wooing. Which means asking instead.

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