Visiting Hank's Lab

May 29, 2015:

Betsy Braddock stops in to say hello to Hank

Xavier Institute

Hank's Lab

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Betsy's return has likely sent shocks of excitement through the Institute. Allegedly dead, now returned, there's been some doubt and confusion as to the tall, leggy Asian woman styling herself as Elizabeth Braddock. Were it not for repeated admonitions from Scott, Charles, and Jean, the rumors would swirl even more loudly, but the three of them are at least keeping things tamped down so that people aren't outright muttering in the halls.

Still, it might come as a bit of a shock for Hank when Betsy shows up at his door with a knock, almost as tall as Scott, with muscles Elizabeth Braddock never had. "Hello, Hank," she says with a glacially calm expression in familiar, cultured British overtones. "It's me, Betsy. I wanted to stop in and say hello in person. Is this a bad time?" she asks, resting her hands assertively on the waist of her low-slung jeans.

The rumors of a supposed change in Braddock's appearance reached even Hank as he prepares for the Academic year to end and whatever summer activities to begin. He's seated at one of the tables grading some tests when the knock comes to the door. He figured she'd be stopping by, no doubt he's going to be asked to run some tests. "Come in," is offered at the call — the door was unlocked. This time.

Psylocke enters the room, her cool brown eyes darting around to take in the familiar sights of equipment and whiteboards and desks, before landing on Hank. Betsy's face is difficult to read, inscrutably composed with no emotion showing. "It's nice to see you again," she offers, her hair dancing across her collarbone as she nods at the blue-furred professor. Her heels click on the ground with the two steps she takes, cocking a hip out for balance. "How have you been?" she asks the bestial X-man, attempting an expression like a smile that vanishes almost as fast as it appears.

Beast pushes his spectacles back up to the bridge of his nose — they always seem to slip down no matter what. It probably doesn't help that his nose isn't a normal, human shape. "Yes, it's been a while…" even though they didn't really know each other that well even before. The X-Men seems to have been spread out even before recent times. "I've been fine, thank you…I presume that you are also well? Despite the…ahh…change in your appearance." He slips off of the stool he was perched on and moves over to one of the cabinets, "I suppose I'm to give you some standard tests to make sure you're all right? No one really relayed that to me yet, but…" it seems to be the bulk of his duties of late.

Betsy shrugs one shoulder in a polite indication of unconcern. "If it makes you feel better to do so, I won't stop you," she assures Beast. "I don't think it's necessary, to be frank- SHIELD found nothing wrong with me physically or mentally, aside from my general emotional state. But that's hardly to be unexpected, all things considered." She watches him cross the lab floor, her eyes studiously focused on his motions. "If you want to talk to Jean about it, I would understand. She can give you a better perspective on the situation than I can. She is, for obvious reasons, a more trustworthy source of information at the moment."

Beast turns from the cabinets to look at the other for a moment before also giving a shrug, "She, Scott, and Ch…The Professor have vouched for you." There's another pause, "I just figured you were here because they wanted me to run additional tests." That seems to be why most people come to visit him.

"No, I'm… trying to be social," Betsy says, exhaling a controlled breath. "There are a lot of rumors swirling around the Institute and confusion seems to abound. I thought I'd take a more aggressive tact in dispelling people's concerns about my presence… and appearance." She lifts a hand in the air, palm up, and lets it fall. "If I'm being more bothersome than help, I can go. I don't mean to intrude on your work."

"No, it's all right…most people don't usually come in here to be social. I've sort of been conditioned, I suppose…" there's a wry sort of chuckle at that. He just naturally assumes that he's visited only when someone needs him to do something. "You're not intruding. I was just grading papers."

He's actually not used to having social calls. "Do you want anything to drink? I have something in the fridge, I think…"

"Water, please. Or something diet, if you have it," she amends quickly, moving to one of the stools. Tall as she is, she can just rest her rear right on the stool, long legs reaching out to touch the ground beneath her.

"It seems like you and Jean are constantly buried under paperwork," she observes in a tone of dry wit, though her face remains perfectly composed. "I'd forgotten how much effort goes into grading exams and the like. Is this finals season, or are you just giving the students extra work of late?" she asks, sitting with prim, perfect posture on the seat.

"I do not. That stuff has far too many chemicals. It'll eat your insides." Besides, she certainly doesn't look like she needs a diet anything. He does go to the fridge to pull out a pitcher of water and a couple of glasses, "Water then." One is even brought over before he perches on one of the other stools. "It's nearing finals and then the end of the Academic year, but most of the students tend to stay for the summer as their parents aren't interested in having them back home…" or they have no parents. "I don't know what Jean's paperwork is besides for the students, but if it's not teaching them then it's my own projects. A lot of that 'paperwork' is on computers now though, at least."

Betsy's lips twitch at Hank's condemnation of the beverage, but she accepts the water with a mouthed 'thank you', bringing the glass to her lips for a few quick gulps. Her phone buzzes and she reaches into her pocket, thumb sliding on the screen. "The future is a wonderful place," Betsy says, concurring with Beast's sentiment. "Might I inquire as to the projects you're working on?" she says in her cultured, aristocratic tones, crossing one ankle over the other and resting her hand loosely between her thighs.

"Is that where you were then? The future? When -this- happened to you?" He gestures to her appearance. "You can inquire, but I'm not sure that I can say. Not all are out of my own curiosity." Besides, she's been vetted, but he isn't even telling Jean and Scott what he's up to and if the Professor knows, he isn't saying anything either. "What are your plans now that you're back to the here and now?"

"Ahhh… no, I meant… it's convenient, having the amenities of the modern era," Betsy clarifies. "Not that I, literally, have been time travelling."

"I was in Japan- mostly. An island off the South China sea. I was kidnapped by an organization called The Hand, a cult of assassins based out of Japane's southern peninsula. I was …" she exhales, a low controlled breath to regulate her emotions. "Blended, is the word. My memories as Kwannon- a Hand agent- and my memories as Betsy Braddock- were merged together and infused into this new body." She holds her arms out to the side, then lets them fall. "For now, I just want to restablish a sense of what normal is. Rebuild relationships. Have a home, again."

Beast watches the woman a moment before he takes a sip from his own glass, "If you don't mind some advice being thrust upon you, as someone who has been through the whole…body change…" even if he didn't lose memories or gain new ones, there -were- changes within his brain chemistry. "There is no 'sense of normal'. At least, not like it used to be. You have to figure out a new 'norma' and realize that it's not going to be quick and it's not going to be easy." He looks at his glass a moment, "Well, might be easier for you."

"It's… helpful advice, Hank, thank you," Betsy says softly, bowing her head in acknowledgement. "I don't understand much about medical information but apparently, my metrics were way off from baselines that I'd had on file here." She sips her water again. "I used to enjoy being at parties, and I enjoyed quiet solitude, so now I keep finding myself at parties, being alone." She exhales, expressing the dichotomy of feelings between Kwannon and Betsy. "It is an ongoing adjustment."

"That would make sense," Hank offers, "Since you're essentially a different person, from what I can tell…with the memories of who you were before. I'm sure Jean could explain that sort of thing better, but your baselines should be re-taken with your current body so that we have them." Although it doesn't need to be done now. "It'll probably be an ongoing adjustment until something just clicks…or not. It took me about six years and even then, it's not perfect."

Betsy winces at the six-year comment. "Jean agrees with you," she informs Beast with a nod. "And I'll give you the biometrics SHIELD took of me- and if you want your own data, I can come down later this week and you can get another set of scans," she offers. "I'm sure you'll want your own data on file, for completeness sake. Perhaps we have ways of analyzing data that SHIELD doesn't."

She finishes her water and stands up. "I won't keep you all day, Hank. Thanks for seeing me- and thank you, for the advice," she says, her tone sincere. "If you don't mind, I might take you up on some more of your thoughts when you aren't so occupied."

"She agrees with me on what? That it will take time?" Hank nods a little, "Like I said, it might be faster for you since you have the whole…mental thing going and you're not a strange, blue, furred beast. I'm sure it'll help." There's another wry smile before he stands when she does, "I'm sure SHIELD's data is fine…but I'd like to think they don't have what we do here…" meaning specialists on Mutants. "At your convenience, Betsy. It's good to have you back."

"You, too, Hank," Betsy says, flashing a brief but sincere smile. She sets the glass in the sink. "Thanks for your time. And… thanks for the advice. I'll bear it in mind." She checks her phone, smiles in a flickering expression, and heads out of the lab with a steady click-click-click of her heels.

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