Grey Family Business

February 12, 2015:

Jean and Nate talk about family issues, the X-Men and the inusual situation they are on


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

It has been a few days staying at the Xavier school, but Nate tends to come and go erratically. He was making some progress at re-connecting with society in New York. Stage magic is fun, he likes the acting, and the delight of the people at things that would find threatening if they found it in the streets outside the theatre.
There is also Rose; he comes back to her every day. But t have very strong, very different personalities. They have kept parallel lives ever since they started dating seriously. Does Rose understand why he likes normal people so much? Why he needs to live among them? Probably not. He doesn’t really understand why she keeps returning to the mercenary business. He just accepts it.
It means Nate is not as much in the grounds as most X-Men. He has yet to have a real talk with Xavier. And he might be, perhaps, avoiding Scott. There is no avoiding Jean, though. He is a bright flare to other telepaths, so she can pretty much feel where he is if he is within a hundred miles. And he was due for some testing today. There are a number of weird power fluctuations and biological anomalies in Nate Grey; the Danger Room was able to take good power reading and bio-scanning during the exercise. So he is back to Jean’s office, for a delayed after-action report, or maybe just some friendly chat between two people that are related and yet they barely know each other.

It had only been a day since the brief briefing with Dr. Richards; Jean was already in her office compiling notes and suggestions to give to Hank and Xavier with the hopes that the school would be on lockdown for now. Only leave the school with an escort.. though, with a virus that's airborne, she's unsure if that would even matter.
Then there was a student who wanted this, another who wanted that. Another who had boy trouble and another who had.. (boys) trouble. There was a college student who got black out drunk and managed to gas out an entire bar. And another student who was asked to the future spring formal yet didn't know which colors matched her skin tone.
Jean was tired, but not too much. She slept enough last night that she was able to focus on the paperwork that was being pushed through, and once she was done, she just sat in her chair, twisting it left and right. Pen twiddling.

There is a knock at the door. No, there is a knock at Jean’s telepathic ‘door’. And then Nate steps into the office. "Jean," he greets. He glances at the stacks of papers on her desk and winces. "Seriously? You need to deal with all that on top of teaching and fighting to save the world? Xavier is a slave-driver. He smirks, and flops down on the nearest chair. "We had an appointment, I am only a little late," he adds.

The knock at the door pulls her from her reverie, her eyes blinking twice as she sits up in her chair. She didn't try too hard to look busy, her desk spoke the words for her, but the smile upon her face was apparent as she gestures for the chair. "Oh. It's no big deal. Counseling is 3/4th's paper work and 1/4th's listening." Then there's the saving the world bit. She'd love to change that part.
"Right. You're not that late compared to some. So tell me, what can I do for you today?" All official! How sweet!

"Hmm, maybe you could move Rose to the mansion before she loses her patience with one of the most annoying students?" Replies Nate after thinking three seconds. "Honestly, she is going to find herself a place outside soon, but I’d like to keep her here a little longer. Stormwatch might believe she is dead, and the longer they think that, the better."
He stands up, to look around the office, curious about the things Jean keeps there. The young man is not good at staying put for long. "So, how long have it been? How long since you came here to study, I mean."

"That could be a thought, considering that her wounds have all healed and she really doesn't need monitoring anymore. And, there hasn't been an incident with her involved." She drags the stack of papers towards herself to filter through them. "As long as Stormwatch doesn't put us on their radar too, I think it's best if she does. However, that's up to her. So you do realize that we cannot have this discussion right now, yes?"
Pushing everything aside once she finds the folder, she glances up as he begins to poke around. She didn't really have much, her office was spartan. There may have been a few pictures here and there but nothing with true significance. "I want to say close to fifteen years. Though I left and attended another college for my degrees." Which weren't hanging on the wall. They were inside of her desk. She hadn't even put them up just yet.
"Nathaniel." She finally says, after a little bit of a grunt. "Why haven't you told Scott who you were?"

"He is not going to take it well," replies Nate, looking back to Jean and offering a half-smirk. "I really hoped he figured it out himself, but he didn’t. Now I have to tell him directly and he is… hmm, he has a lot of things in his mind, literally," he taps his temple with a finger. "I am sure you have noticed. I’ll wait for a good moment. I am not good at keeping this kind of thing unspoken, anyway. It is not a secret, it is just he seems… I don’t know out of balance. Not in control."

"You don't know him like I do." She states faithfully. She'd stand, but she remains sitting, not moving from her spot to make Nate more comfortable.
"I think knowing who you really are will /drive/ him. Focus him. He would be better for you." That thought alone makes her smile just a touch, which soon fades quickly. "He's more in control than he was a few months ago. His time away helped him with that. He will be fine when you tell him. Trust me on this."

Buuut… no, okay. “Well, I am used to see him very focused. Maybe too much sometimes.” But all his experiences with other versions of Scott do not mean much. This is a different man, and Jean has known him for much longer. “Alright, I’ll go find him later.” Nate returns to his seat, thoughtful.

As Nate sits down thoughtful, Jean stares at him in turn, her lips pursing just a bit as she considers…
"What do you know of the Negative Zone?" She had to ask really. If Nate has been there where as she hasn't, and if all the worlds were parallel, maybe he could give her just a smidgeon of insight. Just a smidge.

That is quite the chance of subject, not what Nate was expecting. He directs Jean a puzzled glance, "that name is not familiar, why?" He sighs, smirking faintly, "I really don’t think it is a good idea to ask me about current X-Men problems because I might have known something that might have happened in a parallel reality. This Negative Zone might have been called some other way in other places."

Jean couldn't help but laugh at that, her shoulder shrugging lightly. "It was a chance. I'm sorry, I won't ask again. You have to admit, it was worth a shot." She sighs now, getting down to the real business.
"So tell me, how are you feeling? I'm starting to think that Beast should be in on this conversation."

Nate hesitates, "I have… bah, a lot of things I could warn you about are probably not going to happen. I guess I should make a list anyway, nothing about the Negative Zone, though." As for Beast being here, he shrugs. "I don’t know, would it make any difference?"

"Nothing about the Negative Zone then.. well.. it'll certainly be something to see." She didn't want to talk about it anymore, there wasn't a bad feeling to go along with it, just the fact that the reason as to why the X-Men had to go was a little bit of nasty business.
"It may make a difference in him being here, it may not. It's all about how comfortable you are with sharing what is going on." She lets out a sigh, leaning back into her chair. "Look. The time you've spent here has been about Rose and her recovery. Now it's time to focus on yourself. What good would you be to her or anyone if you let your issues lay?"

"Well, I am fine," replies Nate, making a conciliatory gesture with his hands. "There is not much it can be done about ‘my issues’ if… hmm, what exactly are we talking about?" Because unfortunately there are a bunch of problems Jean could be referring when talking about Nate’s health. Or his powers.

"No you're not."
Jean wasn't one to pry, but she could feel it. He practically broadcasted it the night of the Danger Room. "I've dealt with many people like us. Xavier included. I can tell when someone splits themselves in two. When they're using their gifts to multitask in the face of battle or in daily lives. I've done it myself for close to fifteen years." She stands now, moving around the desk to settle upon the top with a lean, her arms folding over her chest. "But you, yours seem more focused. Internally. I may not read you nor refuse to read you but I can feel that everything you have, most of the time? Is directed inside of you. So no. You're not fine."

Nate hrms looking away, "well… yeah." He taps his temple, "I have a piece of alien tech here, it… absorbs most of my psychic power." Yes, most of it, and he still has at least as much raw strength as Jean. "That actually keeps me alive, y’know? My powers were jacked-up and they were destroying my mind."

Her hand lifts to lightly draw fingers along her upper lip, her mind soon wandering into figures of her old professions. Brain surgeries and the semantics of cutting off various functions of the brain and how those with tumors that were extracted.. No. This wasn't a tumor. It was alien tech that was actually keeping him alive.
Alive for .. his powers. They acted as a natural suppressant. Yes. Beast should have been here for this conversation.
"Is this what happens when… if.. no.." How to word it. "If.. Scott and I were to have children, this would happen to them? Their powers would be so great that it would ultimately destroy them?"

Nate shakes his head. "No, no…" pause, "well, maybe. But what happened in my case wasn’t due to the wrong combination of genes. It was deliberate genetic engineering." He leans back and considers, "I told you I was a test tube baby, not a natural birth. Well, the theory was that most mutants, at least the alphas, have control mechanisms so their powers do not grow beyond their physical ability to control it. Control issues are usually psychological, if you have worked with young mutants you know this better than me. There are exceptions, but they are very rare. As the offspring of two very stable alphas, I shouldn’t have any problem. But Sinister removed those control mechanisms. It meant my powers grew too quickly, and I couldn’t cope with them. If I am alive is because I got infected with an alien technovirus that drains away most of my power. So I can’t move mountains anymore, but… heh, I wouldn’t be moving anything by now, without that thing in my head I would be dead."

She listens closely, her smile growing just a touch, yet fading. "But, the fact that you -could- move mountains is amazing. Well, used to. I don't know, did you try?" She peers at him intently, then sits down into the chair next to him.
"But what if there is a way for the virus to be removed, to instill and teach you those mental blocks that we're inherited with. To teach you to cope, to contain, and to be normal.. by our standards?" He would be great.. but he would also be a target.

Nate shakes his head and grins. "I am still strong enough to lift a tank. Unless I have to get in a fistfight with a Kryptonian, it is more than enough. As for the blocks, Jean, the problem is physiological, not psychological. I have no idea if a human being would be ever able to control so much power, no matter how well trained and disciplined. I guess /maybe/ it is possible, Cable hinted it could be done, but then he vanished. Then there was no time… not even Xavier could help me."

Hearing that name, Cable? It tenses her jaw, just a little. She's only met the man briefly, but he put her off in ways that she couldn't even begin to explain. There were questions, of course, that she wanted to ask of him, but since he wasn't here and Nate knows him? She'd go for that instead.
"There's another thing I need to ask him about then. If.. this is the Cable that you know." She lets out a huff.
"I met him the other day, come to think of it. He said that I shouldn't look for Rachel, even though he loves her." There was a thought. "Back in your world.. was he married to Rachel or something? Her boyfriend? Scott didn't mention.. or I didn't see anything in relation to Cable and Rachel."

"Oh… er…" crap. Nate and his big mouth. "Look, you have to ask Cable about all this, not me. He is a complicate guy that never says all he knows. But definitely not involved with Rachel!" He seems amused by the idea. "If he is around, though, I’d like to meet him."

Jean lets out a little ung. "If I ever see him again, I surely will."
She winces just a little, then slides down a bit in her chair, arms still crossing her chest as a leg crosses over the other. "I'll see if I can find him. He seems the sort to just mumble a few words and leaves. Perhaps if I.." No. She wouldn't go searching to listen, that would be morally wrong. "I'll just leave a note with Xavier. I'm sure he can get in touch with him."

Nate nods. Definitely in the same boat than Jean. Although if Cable is how he remembers, the old man wouldn’t be happy if Nate reveals anything about him/them. Maybe even about Rachel. He sighs. "So Rachel is not here anymore, right? I thought so. I hope she is not in trouble."

Jean shakes her head slowly. "No. She's not here. As far as Scott knows, anyways. I've never met her. I would like to, though." It all puts things into perspective, though.
"I know futures and alternate realities and such are not set in stone here. But.. it really does make one wonder about their own future when we're faced with people like you in our lives." She lets out a little sigh, her eyes drawn towards the ceiling to dream. "It's almost borderline bizarre.."

Nate hmms, giving a few seconds pause, then he speaks. "Well, you want to hear a weird theory? I think your children with Scott have the mutant power to move through time and parallel words. I know I can, and I think Rachel can too, although maybe she can’t control it yet. We fled doomed worlds seeking better ones."

That was new. She had wondered how Nate had came here, how Rachel came to be. She figured it was some sort of machine or.. there really couldn't be any other way that they got here. She looked a little sad however, just the thought. Everything could be salvaged with that power that he had. That her and Scott's children.. may have. They haven't even kissed yet and she was thinking of the prospects. No. Not yet. They probably won't ever kiss.
She does glance towards Nate, pain obvious in her face. She seemed a little small as she opened her mouth to speak, then snaps it shut yet again. Her hands soon lift to rub a little at her face as she looks away from him, staring ahead. "Can you.. go back and stop it from taking me?"

Nate would prefer to think most of those possible children of Jean and Scott in alternate realities lived long and happy lives without ever having to move through time and dimensions to fix any disaster. Again, Cable would know for sure. He just traveled (or stumbled around) rather blindly for a few weeks and now he is trapped here.
He never knew the exact details of Rachel’s dimension jumping. Pretty sure it was no machine, though.
And there is Jean again with the overwhelming sad expression. Nate tenses, but her question makes him blink in confusion. "Stop… who?"

He didn't know. He wouldn't know. She's unsure if he encountered it at all, in either worlds. But.. she could still feel the residual effects of the phoenix, and what a dream it would be to never feel it at all. It had it's perks, she died twice and returned thanks to its power and it wanting to keep her around.. but it was a great cost. One she had trouble bearing.
"N..nothing. Nothing." That smile once again, forever kind and gentle was given, as she slowly draws herself to a stand. Her hands were shaking, and soon hidden away from view to stuff back into her pockets. "Think I may go for a walk. Probably try to find Cable for you."

Nate directs a worried glance at Jean, but then nods and stands up, "and I will try to find Scott and tell him… er, everything." And if he goes crazy at knowing or something, we can blame Jean for it. "Take care, you look tired."

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