We All Wear Masks

Brief Title:

White Queen, Aurora

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:
12/10/12 11:28

Columbus Park, Boston

After being unnerved by another meeting with Daimon Hellstrom, Jeanne-Marie happens by Emma Frost, who takes interest in her because of what she's seen between Jeanne-Marie and Daimon

Social or Plot:


Anyone may have picked on the unlikely exchange between Jeanne-Marie and Daimon Hellstrom, which got a bit loud towards the end, with Jeanne-Marie giving Daimon a slightly more than possibly human shove. Usually she's careful about flaunting powers, but she couldn't help herself, Daimon touched a nerve. Right now she's marching and muttering scriptures, as she moves about the park, trying desparately to calm herself down.

Having had a relaxing visit to the city in mind in order to recover from a stressful week, Emma Frost chanced to be passing the park during the argument, only fifty feet away. At first she had glanced that way irritably, annoyed by the noisy people spoiling others' relaxation, hers in particular, and was on the verge of just walking swiftly away when the dark-haired woman pushed the devilishly (no pun intended) handsome man. And what a push! No ordinary woman could have pushed him /that/ hard... especially not a woman as generally petite as Jeanne-Marie. Studying the murmuring woman as she walks away, Emma moves to follow, slowly, trying to be discreet for the moment as she begins to sift through Jeanne-Marie's surface thoughts. A brief probe of the surface thoughts of the man serves to dissuade her from following him, at least for the moment; the man /thinks/ like trouble.

Jeanne-Marie is so invested in her own anger and trying to overcome that anger, all mostly aimed at Daimon, that she doesn't even notice that Emma has started towards her. Then again, Emma is being discreet as well. When Emma reaches to Jeanne-Marie's mind, she'll find a turmoil at the very surface. She seems to be experiencing a sensation of guilt and hate. Guilt for sins she feels she has been forced to partaking in due to an imp that she feels possesses her every so often, and she hates it when people think she is the source of the problem. Most recently, Daimon himself suggesting she might be crazy. Apparently, the woman doesn't like being accused of being crazy. Names float by, Jean-Paul Beaubier, Soeur Anne, Walter Langkowski. It seems she's going through a list of people she blames, and people she finds as anchors to goodness, though in the turmoil in her head, it's hard to pin which she places in which category.

Hmmm... Emma frowns thoughtfully, trying to sort through the tangle of thoughts. So much guilt, so much hatred... and most intriguing of all is Jeanne-Marie's sense of righteous indignation that she be forced to commit such sins by this 'imp', and be blamed for those same sins. "Must go deeper..." she murmurs, deeply intrigued by the turmoil in the woman's mind, trying to deepen her probe without arousing her subject's suspicions that she is being probed. Fortunately for Emma, she has years of experience at such subtle deep probes... and she may very well need it.

Some telepaths have tried to probe into Jeanne-Marie's mind without ever discovering her afflication, others, like Headlok discovered the truth but paid a price for being too careless in tormenting Jeanne-Marie. Emma, on the other hand, has both expertise and finesse with her powers, and her intention is purely discovery, and as such before long, she finds an interesting duality. While Jeanne-Marie seems seamlessly, the person she is, a devout Catholic, modest, chaste, and so on and so forth. There are some fractures in that whole, that give a glimpse into a polar opposite. A personality that is wanton, hedonistic, shameless, and by all accounts, nowhere near religious. Perhaps a glimpse of that 'imp' which turns out not to be a supernatural being at all.

Emma's eyes widen as she finds a glimpse of what she had been looking for, finding that it is both more fantastic and terrible than she had suspected. "A true split personality, perhaps..?" she murmurs, not without a pang of sympathy for poor Jeanne-Marie. A psychologist herself, she is versed in the causes of a dual personality... and the most common is physical and psychological abuse, often at a young age.

Squashing a pang of bitter memory of her own girlhood, she continues to follow Jeanne-Marie. "This /is/ a pickle..." she murmurs. "I certainly don't want to end up like /him/... let's see..." Drawing upon another of her abilities, one much less easy to define than the myriad mysteries of psychology, she probes just a little deeper, recalling the woman's extraordinary strength. It must have a cause... and if she is a mutant, as Emma suspects, then her powers require a trigger... one Emma may be able to temporarily block.

Jeanne-Marie continues to recite her scriptures and her pace of walking slows down as she starts to finally calm her nerves, repeatedly reminding herself she should not allow others to put her in such a state of distress. Daimon was only being an idiot, he can't help himself, she shouldn't be judgemental. Judging is reserved for God alone, Jeanne-Marie keeps reminding herself, gradually easing down from her feat of rage. Throughout, she's unaware that she's serving as a study subject for Emma Frost.

As Emma digs deeper, she'll soon find Jeanne-Marie hasn't the gift of super strength, but rather speed, it was the tremendous speed with which she hit Daimon that sent him flying back. With Emma's precision work, however, Jeanne-Marie's power for the moment is locked from her. A very good thing she's currently unaware of it, as she would have freaked out. She's had her share of attacks from telepaths, and never had it lead to a pleasant experience.

Emma breathes an inward sigh of relief, having finished the delicate psychic tweaks that temporarily shut down Jeanne-Marie's power. So far, so good... Jeanne-Marie's thoughts suggest that she doesn't suspect anything amiss, in her thoughts or with her powers. Still, Emma can't shake the feeling that the hardest part may be yet to come.

Taking a moment to collect her thoughts and squash her doubts, she approaches Jeanne-Marie openly, at a walk. "Excuse me, miss?" she calls softly. "Are you all right?"

Whirling around as Emma calls to her, it takes Jeanne-Marie a moment before she realizes it's not Daimon but Emma Frost who is talking to her. She personally has no knowledge of Emma Frost, and so doesn't react in a particular manner, she just looks confused, "yes, I am fine, t'ank you for asking...I'm zorry, I was jus' undair some straiss. I met zis unpleasant man...I am alright now."

"Ah. You seemed distressed, somehow... I begin to understand why," Emma replies, nodding. "It is a sad fact of life in the big city that women walking by themselves are often approached by unpleasant sorts. May I ask where you are headed? I might walk with you, if our directions coincide, which may dissuade any further attention from other such unpleasant men," she offers.

"I'm sorry, I just...yes, yes, zat is unfortunate, I try to stay safe," Jeanne-Marie murmurs, pleased to hear that Emma can sympathize, "I draiss modaistly, I try not to attract attention...I'm a good Christian, I didn't ask zat man to bot'er me." Looking up at Emma, a bit surprised by the offer to join her, Jeanne-Maire points at a bench, "I was 'ere to read my bible...zen he came to bot'er me...I was leaving so maybe 'e would stop following me. I really could use zee park's quiet, you can stay wit' me if you like. Do you read zee bible?" Fancy asking a member of the Hellfire Club that question.

"Sometimes," Emma fibs, inwardly chuckling at the question. If the devout woman only knew... "Probably not as often as I should, I suppose... I am a teacher by trade, and my days tend to be quite full. Yes, I believe I shall remain with you, that you may read in peace. It shall be my random act of kindness for today," she continues, taking a seat on the indicated bench. In the meantime, she carefully reopens her probe of Jeanne-Marie's surface thoughts, letting the woman prattle on as she wishes. Really, she finds Jeanne-Marie's thoughts /much/ more interesting than her conversation...

Jeanne-Marie's smile returns to her face when she hears Emma's reply, and comments, "even if you only do it occasionally, zat means you are a good woman, I'm glad I met you. Maybe zis way, like you said, I will not be bot'ered by the likes of zat terrible man." Jeanne-Marie seems even more pleased upon learning that Emma is a teacher, "a teacher? So am I! I 'ave taught at Madame DuPont's School for Girls, a Catholic school in LaVelle, Quebec." Smiling warmly at Emma, Jeanne-Marie returns to sit on the bench, leaving ample room for Emma to sit by her side, as she takes out her bible from her purse, a French edition. "Zere is so much goodness to be found, if you meet zee right people." And as the two sit together, Jeanne-Marie every so often remarks on a particular line she just read, and shares her interpertation with Emma. Of course she doesn't realize Emma isn't nearly as interested in the conversation as she is in what she's really doing. Now that Emma has helped Jeanne-Marie to calm down, there isn't nearly as much turmoil in Jeanne-Marie's surface thoughts. She seems at peace, happy, calm, and yet those fractures that Emma has noticed before seem to cry for help. Much like a person who is taken to be trapped in the astral plane while another takes control of his body.

'I wonder...' Emma muses to herself, deep in thought, feeling an inner pang as she studies the piteous fractures. 'Is one a mask of some kind, and the other the real person? Or are they both only halves of the same person, crying to be whole again?' An uncomfortable thought for a woman who has undertaken cosmetic surgery to more resemble her own glamorous sister. Emma squashes the thought that she might be her own unique sort of split personality, focusing her attention on the fractures. What secrets might they hold about this seemingly happy, yet clearly tragic young woman?

Those who have been exposed to both personalities in real life experience, rather than telepathic probing, has wondered the same. Jean-Paul, Jeanne-Marie's twin brother, holds that Aurora is the true personality ever repressed in a demonic school that scarred children. James Hudson, always preferred Jeanne-Marie and saw Aurora as a fake created to deal with hardships. Others still, believed both were parts of the one person Jeanne-Marie should have been. Either way, there's no clear cut answer, at least not from talking directly with either of those personalities. While all this observation takes place in her mind, Jeanne-Marie is still happily prattling with Emma about different verses in the bible, for a moment noting Emma is not entirely focused, which causes her to prompt, "isn't our Lord the most just and merciful?"

"Yes?" Emma says, blinking at the question. Looking at Jeanne-Marie, she feigns reaching up to rub her eyes. "I'm very sorry, Miss... I think I tried to doze off for a moment. I'm afraid I didn't sleep well last night." She gasps softly, eyes widening, yet another act. "I just realized, I forgot to pray before I went to bed last night. No wonder my sleep was troubled..." She smiles wryly. "That will teach me to spend the whole evening grading four classes' worth of tests." Inwardly, she can't help hoping, 'Now you can agree and go off on some other path of righteousness for a while... I have /real/ work to do!'

"Oh my, I'm so sorry, you jus' wantaid to rest and I am going on and on, please, feel free to doze for a bit...I can focus on zee reading." Jeanne-Marie looks and sounds quite apologetic as she shifts to her full attention to her bible, though upon hearing Emma has forgotten to say her prayer the other night, she makes that chastising 'tsk' sound some teachers have a habit of doing, "zat is bad for your soul to forget zee prayers, I will make sure to mention you in my prayer tonight...w'at eez your name? I am Jeanne-Marie Beaubier." Telepathically, most of Jeanne-Marie's mind is at ease while she's reading her bible and talking of scripture and prayers, but there is a part of her mind that seethes, and almost seems to feel embarrassed by the joy and peace she takes from religious acts.

"It is... it really is. Stupid of me, to overwork myself so and forget," Emma murmurs. Not exactly the result she had expected. "It's Emma. Emma Frost. Very pleased to meet you, Miss Beaubier," she adds, with a small smile, offering her hand to Jeanne-Marie.

That seething, embarrassed part of Jeanne-Marie's mind is very intriguing to Emma. 'I wonder...' she thinks, '...what would happen if that part were up front, instead of in back... some sort of stimulus usually causes one personality to become dominant, while the other fades into the background. If I can find the stimulus... or the switch itself...'And she tries to probe yet deeper, without alerting Jeanne-Marie to her intrusion.

Shaking hands with Emma, Jeanne-Marie looks pleased enough to have made another decent acquiantance, decent people being a rarer breed these days. As Emma studies deeper the innerworking of the complex mind that is Jeanne-Marie Beaubier, she finds as she had originally surmised, that it seems as though either of the personalities is allowed to come to the fore in times of need. When there's something Jeanne-Marie cannot handle, Aurora tends to surface, and vice-versa. For the time being, Jeanne-Marie is most comfortable reading the bible and discussing some passages with Emma, who while she looks intent, is more focused on Jeanne-Marie's mind than her words.

'How tragically fantastic...' Emma thinks, both fascinated and quietly horrified by what she learns of poor Jeanne-Marie Beaubier's fractured psyche. 'Not to mention frustrating. Bringing that other personality to the fore won't be easy if it takes a stimulus that she can't handle as /this/ personality. Hmmm...'

"I never thought of it that way... you're so knowledgeable about all of this," she says, smiling, to the almost-prim woman's latest postulation regarding a Bible verse. Inwardly, she thinks furiously. 'How can I force the other personality to the surface without hurting her, or turning her against me? An enemy can't help her!'

Oblivious to the fact she's providing Emma with a curious study case for a distinct psychological condition, Jeanne-Marie is still going on about the verse in the bible, and it seems for now Emma's well placed nods are enough to give her the impression she has a captive audience in Emma.

Jeanne-Marie does blush faintly and for a moment stops talking, lowering her head with humility, "I cannot claim to be so knowledgable w'en zere is still so much for me to learn. I jus' try to do as best I can to please our Lord and Saviour. W'at do you zink zat Sodom and Gammora teaches us?" Jeanne-Marie all of a sudden aims a quesiton at the blonde woman sitting next to her on the bench.

Oh, what irony...

Emma is slightly taken aback by the question, and hesitates. Then an idea forms. "Well, it certainly teaches us that party people make very poor neighbors... I think that goes without saying," she says, leaning a little closer to Jeanne-Marie. "Though it also teaches us," she continues softly, reaching out to take hold of the woman's shoulders, "that some sins are worth it."

And she pulls Jeanne-Marie closer and kisses her right on the lips!

Jeanne-Marie arches a brow as Emma edges nearer, but as Emma is answering her question, she doesn't make much of it beyond thinking Emma wants to make sure Jeanne-Marie can hear her clearly. It is after all one of the harder situation that Jeanne-Marie has encountered in her bible studies. "Quoi!?" Jeanne-Marie is taken completely by surprise, both by words and actions, she starts to squirm in agitation when Emma places her hands about her shoulders, but for a moment is distracted by the blasphemous words that Emma tells her next, so far away from the answer she was expecting, but even as Jeanne-Marie opens her mouth to protest and educate Emma, she finds herself suddenly with her lips pressed to Emma's, in...a kiss! With a girl at that!

Growing pale for a moment as a ghastly expression of shock takes over Jeanne-Marie's visage, she looks about ready to faint, when instead her expression starts to soften. While still surprised, she no longer looks aghast, and Emma would find the difference soon enough when intead of passively being kissed, Aurora goes with the flow and kisses Emma in turn, now wrapping her own arms around Emma's neck. If Emma was scanning telepathically, the change is most obvious, when that tranquil peacefulness that soon turned to a jarring expression of shock and fear, is now replaced by a more frivlous surrounding, that while still surprised to find herself kissing a beautiful woman, doesn't mind it nearly as much.

Emma notices the difference immediately, both physically and psychically. Even though she had embarked on this experiment with the intention of helping the damaged Jeanne-Marie, she can't help but savor the kiss as Aurora reciprocates, the hedonistic side of her personality momentarily coming to the fore.

Gently disengaging from the embrace, she smiles faintly at the familiar face worn by the new personality. "I thought that might do it," she says, with a hint of satisfaction. "I am sorry for frightening your other self, Miss Beaubier, but I could think of no other way to free you."

It is Emma who has to break the kiss, as Aurora seems to be wont to makeup for lost time. When the kiss does break, Aurora still looks quizzically at Emma, only unlike the shocked visage Jeanne-Marie had about her, Aurora looks curious. "So...how do I find myself kissed by such a beautiful woman," Aurora pauses as she looks around her, "in some park? Rather public place for a kiss between women, wouldn't you say?" If anything, Aurora sounds more amused at the prospect of being seen in public kissing another woman, rather than concerned for her reputation.

When Emma starts to talk about her other self, Aurroa furrows her brow and doesn't look nearly as amused, "my other self? What are you going on about?" Aurora plays dumb, unless she really has no recollection of Jeanne-Marie's experiences and is quite confused, as she seems to be, to find herself in Colmbus Park in Boston, if she even knows the place. Before she can proceed that line of conversation about other selves and such, Aurora shrieks in horror. One would think she has been accosted by someone, or perhaps Emma wasn't as careful with her telepathic work and wound up hurting her...but the truth turns out to be much simpler, as her next horrified cry is, "why in the blazes am I dressed like the Virgin Mary!?" Sure, Jeanne-Marie wasn't really dressed as a total prude, there is a certain elegance to the modest outfit, but it just goes to show the wide chasm between Aurora and Jeanne-Marie's tastes in clothing. "Look, whoever you are, I don't know how we got to kissing and all that jazz, but right now I am in a state of emergency, I absolutely need to get to a clothing shop ASAP!" Funny, but it seems all traces of the thick accent Jeanne-Marie had are now gone, as if Aurora never really had any problems with English, then again, it's Jeanne-Marie who grew up speaking only French, Aurora never had the same problem.

"Interesting..." Emma murmurs at Aurora's reaction to the mention of 'her other self'. She starts at the woman's horrified cry, looking around for a potential mugger or worse. She has to bite her lip on laughter, however, when Aurora gets to the real reason for her alarm. "Actually, my name is Emma Frost, and if you'll just come with me, we can deal with this clothing emergency in no time at all." Picking up Jeanne-Marie's bible from the bench, she offers her hand to Aurora.

"Oh thank god, you're from around? It'll save me on the search part of solving this problem if you can point me in the right direction, I appreciate it a lot, Emma! I'm Aurora," the Canadian woman introduces herself in turn as she gets up and looks at the purse slung over her shoulder in disdain, "ugh, and apparently I need a new purse too, this looks like it was stolen from medieval times," nevermind that they didn't quite have such purses at the time. Aurora's disdain at the very least is easy to note. Not quite sure where she is, and the offered help in dealing with her dire emergency, is enough for Aurora to take Emma's hand on, "I promise you, I never ever dress like this."

"Please, Aurora, don't worry about it," Emma replies, smiling to Aurora. "My car's over here... and the first stop in our quest for an updated wardrobe is only minutes away. I can take you home, if you like, or we can take your advice and do a little, or a lot, of shopping." She pauses a moment, giving the much-transformed young woman a thoughtful look. "It seems you've had an odd lapse of memory, or perhaps a blackout. What is the last thing you remember, if you don't mind my asking?"

"Shopping would help me feel a lot better about this sorry state of dress, I can't even show my face dressed like this, ugh," Aurora cringes in disgust as she follows Emma to her car, "the last thing I remember?" Aurora ponders the question, putting a finger to her chin thoughtfully as she suddenly murmurs, "I was in a club...I think I was sharing a drink with this funny guy dressed in red and black, he was a Mercenary or something exciting like that...his name was Wilson. Anyways, I definitely wasn't out in a park kissing a hot blonde."

"Shopping it shall be, then." Emma unlocks her white Mercedes SLK with a touch of a button on her keychain. "My my, a mercenary? You keep interesting company. Something strange must have happened, to cause this lapse in memory, and the change in location. Not that there's anything to do about it now... except repair the damage to your wardrobe of course." Opening the door, she steps into the roadster.

"That's what I love to hear," Aurora sounds quite cheerful as she lets out an impressed whistle upon seeing Emma's car, "you ride in style, Emma, I like it." Aurora gets in the passanger seat, as she muses, "I don't judge people based on their occupation alone...unless of course they happen to be priests, or nuns, or whatever, ugh," Aurora makes a gesture of vomitting, before shaking her head, "I really don't remember what happened, I thought it was going rather well...maybe I just had too much to drink." Looking down at herself, Aurora starts with unbuttoning the jacket, and a few of the top buttons on the blouse, "you happen to know who invented the pencil skirt? Because I want to punch him or her."

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