Woman Who Answers to Leina
Note - I don't own any of the characters. Not a one. This story has been rotting on my hard drive for a while, and I don't know if it's a oneshot or something I should continue. It's just a blurb to me. Have a look. Let me know what you decide. Bear in mind this has not received a visit from the Beta-fairy, so it's fairly sucky.
"You've been hurting yourself again." It wasn't a question, but then again, Ororo Monroe never needed to ask. It was a bit too dark (and small) in the cell for her liking, but she could see things without the lights turned on. Right now, she would have to, lest she provoke another panicked tantrum. Wet streaks that could compare to Phoenix's hair in color decorated various places on the smooth, rounded walls. In the deepest shadows furthest from the door, she could make out the bent outline of the cell's sole inhabitant.
The woman crouched; her meager amount of weight rested on the balls of her booted feet. What would have been the quiet of the room went on disturbed by her hoarse, raspy breaths, at certain moments so heavy that Ororo could hear what moisture there was in her throat bubbling and churning along with the flow of air. Graying auburn hair, which at some point had been kept in a tidy braid, now strung about her in all sorts of ways; a wild, tangled and dirty mess that refused, just as much as its mistress, to be tamed. She hunched over her gnarled hands, the fingers and knuckles bruised and bloody from an earlier fit of hysteria. The underside of her wrist was covered in newly forged cuts and gashes caused by her own clawing, and despite the fact that Ororo knew she could hear her, she did not look up. This was all a familiar picture to her, of course; since Xavier brought her there from Muir, she'd attempted several escapes and reacted just as badly each time, so the Windrider had heard. This was the first time, however, that Ororo Monroe risked coming down here to see this woman by herself.
Just two days ago, when the poor creature'd been practically dragged in, she might have passed as normal. She'd been clean, kempt, and for the most part, calm. That lasted until Scott and Logan tried, nearly unsuccessfully, to force her into this cell.
Ororo shook her head bitterly; having already voiced her objections to the woman's confinement down here, she could not do much else until the Professor relented and had her moved. His hesitation to do so right away in spite of the subject's obvious psychological discord was what made her so angry. His personal interest in this particular person was what convinced him to bring her here, but he wouldn't say so. He simply offered his usual smile then explained that they had the proper facilities to treat her.
The problem was that none had actually been put to use yet. So far, both Jean Grey and Professor Xavier, himself, had attempted to speak to her, to gather some information, since -- so Ororo heard -- the one name for her that she would openly answer to, Leina, was reported to be false. She showed a particular distaste for their methods and their being telepaths in particular. Through either some plea to their ethics or something genuinely stronger, they had not yet used their powers to extract information. There was no doubt, however, that patience was beginning to wear thin -- for everyone.
It took all the willpower Ororo had to keep from responding to her genuine sympathy for the poor creature and moving the claustrophobic herself.
The sound of the woman's voice startled Ororo out of her reverie; she shouldn't have been so surprised, however. She knew better than to think herself trusted. "I don't think you want me to do that."
"And keep your damned throughts to yourself." The woman who answered to "Leina" curled further in open herself. Her words were weighed down by a very thick accent -- European, definitely, but Ororo could not be sure of its origin. Leina twitched now and again, and one of her tortured hands repeatedly pushed at a lock of hair that'd fallen into her face. That single movement alone must have caused her a great deal of pain, but if it did, she showed no signs of it.
"If you keep trying to hurt yourself, you'll have to be tied down." She bit her lip, then added, "For your protection." Anyone who knew her understood that the very thought of it disturbed her -- being a lover of open air and freedom herself.
"If you want to protect me, then get me out of this room."
Ororo drew back in surprise as the woman met gazes with her for the first time. Until that point, she'd never even been sure if she had eyes, as the current condition of her hair kept them curtained when she was crouched as she was. Despite orders, Leina's request did not seem out of Storm's league. "I know how you feel," she said, "And I'll try if I can, but you must understand that you have to --"
"Do not try. I have had just about enough of you X-men and your trying. Just do it."
Ororo Monroe sighed and shook her head again; the conversation was going nowhere pleasant, and even if her mood demanded so, she would not lose her temper. "I'll see what I can do," she murmured. "Do you need medical attention for that?" She nodded toward the woman, indicating the sorry state of her hands.
There was a long pause, and the woman shifted again. "…I will be fine in a while." Her tone had gone softer, less rough, a comforting sign that she at least responded well to Ororo's attempts at courtesy.
"If you insist," she relented, and turned to go. "Get some rest, Leina." She used the name aloud, now, hoping that was the right thing to do. The woman turned so vehement when she wasn't called that. A lump of pain in the pit of her stomach began to boil up along her spinal cord as she reached for the commands to shut the door. It flared up worse than ever when again, there was movement inside that made her look.
Leina'd risen from her corner and stood her full height -- well, as full as could be managed. Standing like so did little for her save show just how badly she could manage to injure herself in one short tantrum, much so that Ororo nearly reconsidered insisting she take her to the infirmary. Nearly, because once again the woman spoke.
"What is your name?"
She smiled almost sadly. "My name is Ororo Monroe," she answered. "And you are Leina?"
"Sometimes," the woman answered.
"Very well…." Ororo could do little to hide the puzzlement in her voice at such a strange response. "Good night, then, Leina."
Once again, her fingers stopped near the key pad for the door. "Yes?"
"Other times, I am called Magda. But not so often anymore."
"…Have you told anyone else this?"
"No. But your Professor knows. That is why I am still here."