Ice At The Institute

June 11, 2015:

Bobby visits the Institute to give them Christmas in June… Betsy skates, Blink blinks and Kurt BAMFS

Xavier Institute - New York


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Bobby does not often come to the X-School. It's not like he ever spent any appreciable amount of time here - eight weeks some five years ago - and while he appreciates the work the place does, he doesn't have quite the sentimental attachment to the place that most of the X-Men do. Also, he neither likes nor trusts many of the X-Men who make this place their home. Which is why he's mostly found in DCI at the X-Red HQ. However the fact that he's had a rocky relationship with the staff here in no way impacts the fact that he promised to come over and provide some Christmas in June action for the kids stuck at the Institute over the summer. He'll be here… probably a couple times a month doing this.

And it's fun making it snow. At the moment the interior 'quad' area where the tables and lawn and pool are looks like it's gotten a visit from Jack Frost and even in the June heat of New York, there's a fairly good pile of fairly cold, not at all sloshy snow. And more's coming down. The pool might be frozen almost solid, making it perfect for ice skating.

Aaaaand there might be a snowball fight breaking out.

Brins' Bobby's self appointed watcher for the time being, at least until Wanda can remove her hex. Sheltering on the patio, wrapped in a jacket, she shakes her head at the Ice Nerd "Thanks for reminding me to bring something warm to wear." and she ducks behind Bobby as a snowball flies at her… "Hey!" she laughs… Bobby's right, this might be fun.

Betsy is determined to test that theory about the pool. The lovely thing about Bobby's work is that it remains cold and stable even in warm weather- so there's no scrabbling for heavy jackets and gloves. She carries a set of white leather skates in one hand, moving primly across the quad area with perfect balance even in heels. She ducks a few snowballs with thoughtless ease and moves to the edge of the pool. Rather primly, she brushes a spot off, and sits down on the concrete, slipping her wedges off one at a time to done brightly rainbow-patterned socks and start tugging on her ice skates with short and practiced motions.

Kurt Wagner sits up in a tree, sipping on a cup of tea, his current book, a Thomas Merton book of essays, set side on a nearby bough. He's only returned relatively recently himself, after a sabbatical in Europe of a spiritual nature. He has his legs crossed beneath him, tail wrapped around the limb in the unlikely event he loses his balance.

He watches Bobby's icing antics, raising an eyebrow but not interfering. He's furry enough that cold doesn't bother him particularly, although he does look awfully jaunty in a stocking cap, especially with one of those little fuzzy balls on the end. He glanzes over as Betsy starts going to put on skates, waving at the Brit in a friendly fashion and taking a sip of his tea, "Betsy, hello. Where's your new friend?" he calls, golden eyes flicking around for Blink.

If nothing else, Blink can climb. Her stint in the woods gave her good practice, from rocks to tree trunks and even waterfalls. She's found a high spot in a tree as well, off the snow but not out of it, watching the antics with her jacket zipped up to her bright pink nose, her green eyes watching as the students and staff horse around and enjoy themselves. She's a little confused, a little delighted, but she still wonders if it's safe to play in mutant-induced snow. I mean, it -looks- nice, but where does it really come from?

Where does it come from? Good question. Bobby's not sure and he's a physicist. It seems to violate the law of conservation of mass. But it's there. Snow. Snow is really just really finely shaved ice and Bobby can do ice in spades. There's about, oh, two dozen Xavier students ranging in ages from 10 to 16, packing in snow walls in small fortresses on opposite sides of the lawn while the flurry of snowballs going between the two intensifies. The more mischevious of the kids are not above aiming a ball or three at, well, any of the present adults. Although those who aim them at Bobby quickly find that he can do snowballs… so much better than they. And faster. And can make them appear above their heads.

"You're welcome." Bobby grins to Brin, watching as Betsy tests the ice. It is, indeed, frozen down about six or seven feet. The deeper part of the deep end might still be liquid but no one's falling through who doesn't first cut or dig their way down. Safety concerns. The ice nerd has 'em covered.

And of course what better to go with a snowball fight and an unscheduled day of winter than…

Yeah, snowcones. Nice thing about Bobby is he doesn't even need a machine. He just dumps shaved ice right into the paper cups and pours the syrup on top of them. Guess who gets to deal with the sugared up kids later?

Not him.

"So, everyone having a more or less good day?" He asks, mostly of the adults who are not presently engaged in do-or-die snow warfare.

Betsy looks up at Kurt and flashes a smile. "Hullo, Kurt," she greets him, propping a foot up on the concrete for more leverage on the laces. She gets one on and starts tying down the other. "She was…" Betsy frowns, looking around. "I saw her just a moment ago, where… Ah. Blink! Be careful up there!" she says, calling up to the small pink woman. "Kurt's here, he'd like to say hello!" she says, pointing at Wagner's location in the boughs of the other tree.

She gets both skates on and stamps her feet on the ice, then carefully rolls the socks to the same length, adding a splash of color to her white leggings and white skates. She rises and pushes off onto the ice like a swan taking to water, gliding effortlessly with small flicks of her feet. Reaching the end, she hops and splays her feet out into a pleiae, rounding the 'pond's' short side with effortless balance.

"Yes, thank you, Bobby," Betsy says- her Asian features perhaps unfamiliar to the Iceman. "And how are you?" she asks, exploding into a double axle and landing it with a flourish of hands and one foot in the air.

Kurt Wagner looks up at Bobby's question, flicking his golden eyes to the Iceman, "The day is pleasant, thus far, and you are providing an obviously welcome distraction for the students. Although some of them probably have homework they should be working on," he says, giving a teasing glare at a couple of teenagers who were preparing to pelt the blue elf with snowballs, the two quickly turning tail and running when they get caught in the act.

He flicks his eyes over to Blink when Betsy points her out, grinning, 'So she is. Hello, Claire!' he says, raising a hand in greeting, "I am pleased to see that I am not the only one who enjoys the heights as a place to relax,' he says. He's doing his best to make the new girl comfortable - she seemed somewhat skittish on arrival and she's still settling in, after all.

The pink-skinned young woman flicks her eyes over the Kurt, a hint of a smile on her features before she goes back to watching the antics of the quad. She watches in awe as her mentor takes to ice like she was born to it, admiring Betsy's grace in everything she does. She squeals when the occasional snowball gets to close and too high, hugging the trunk like a pink monkey as the battle goes in to full swing. With all her nerves, however, she's doing something she hasn't had reason to in years: she's laughing. It takes a few minutes of convincing herself, but soon enough she's down in the snow, giggling as it crunches under her shoes, and she heads over to the ice cones and the various flavors. Even if ice out of nothings -is- a little weird.

Bobby leaves the fairly large 'tray' of snow cones on the table. A closer inspection of the tray reveals that it is also made of ice. Don't lick it.

"I don't think we've met." The ice nerd says to the pink skinned woman as she comes over. "I'm Bobby Drake and this is Brinley Meyers. We're both from X-Red, in New York proper." Which is mostly where they stay. Kurt's commentary about homework gets an amused snort and then Betsy… well Bobby peers over at her. Does he know her? Should he? He's considering this question mightily when, as if summoned by his peering, a snowball arcs in her direction.

Peeking out from behind Bobby's back, Brin decides it's safe to appear. "Hi, You can call me Brin." She adds to Bobby's greeting of the young woman.

"Give them a break, Kurt." Brinley smiles in his direction "Everyone deserves some time off, even us." and turns her attention as the snowball arcs for Betsy "Don't recognise Betsy Braddock, Bobby?" she murmurs

Betsy sweeps in lazy circles to arrest her momentum, turning in place, and skates backwards easily, hands extended for balance. She spots the snowball coming and turning, snatches it from the air like it was floating in. The turn becomes a pirouette, then a spin, a blur of motion as her arms go up into the air and her thick purple-black hair describes an arc, whipping around her center of rotation. She sweeps a leg out and starts gliding along again, flicking the snowball in Blink's direction with a languid motion of her wrist.

Kurt Wagner smiles to Brinley and shrugs, "I am mostly teasing, I assure you, Fraulein, although, given a couple of grade averages, I likely should not be," he says. He releases his tail, somersaulting lightly to land in the snow. He walks over towards the little bond, watching Betsy do her turns around and glances over as Brinley identifies her to Bobby, "You may excuse him, our Betsy does not look the same as she did not so very long ago. She has undergone great changes, at the very least on the outside. Only she can say for certain about what lays beyond skin deep," he smiles.

Claire opens her mouth to reply to Bobby, her shyness melting away a little with the promise of snow cones! and maybe even meeting new people. Instead of 'I'm Claire' or something similar, she looses an indignant squawk as Betsy's perfect awful aim catches Claire at the back of her magenta-haired head. Flushing with embarrassment, hopping up and down to keep the ice from going down her sweatshirt (but it does anyway), she squeaks and flails and yells as the ice tickles a blue line of fire through her nerves, down and in to her pants. "BETSY!" she squeals, wriggling around like a fish on land.

Bobby chuckles and steps aside slightly to give Brin a better view of Claire… which he does just as she starts to do the dance of ice down the shirt. It's a dance several of the kids are doing in sequence as they take 'hits' from the snow war.

Which abruptly ends when they realize there are snowcones to be had. The group rushes over though it's kind of… almost adorable the way they form a line near Brinley rather than mobbing the 'rack.' And the one in front mutely looks up at the woman as if to say 'please can I have one?'

"I didn't know she'd… oh… right…" Well Bobby's out of the loop on this one but as Kurt and Brin are both saying… changes. Anything that makes someone change that much probably isn't entirely pleasant so he won't ask right now. Instead… "Where'd you learn to skate like that?"

Relegated to organisational duty… it's what Brin does best and hey, the kids are cute. "I'm aware, Kurt." Brin murmurs before she moves "Sorry Bobby, with everything that's going on some things slip through the cracks." But they're here now and Betsy can explain best.

As she starts to hand out the snow cones, ruffling the youngsters hair as she does, Brin looks to the pink skin Claire "You're a new addition here, aren't you?" Brin doesn't get to the Institute all that much.

"I've been skating nearly as long as I can walk," Betsy explains, her eyes intently on nothing as she often is when her focus is inward driven on a task at hand. Either she doesn't hear the murmured conversation about her or she doesn't care- the dusky tone to her cheeks could be embarassment or cold or exertion. "We had a pond behind the manor when I was a girl, and I'd spend days at a time on the ice." She picks up some speed and leaps up again, arms tucking, and lands a triple axle. She wobbles a bit, forcing some recovery time, and slows to lazy, easy skating for a few long strides, her long legs flexing with each push across the slick frozen water. A few of the older students goggle a bit, but none of them dare get caught- Betsy's temper is a bit mercurial, particularly if she catches someone gawking at her.

Kurt Wagner doesn't gawk, because he's not that kind of person generally. When Brinley notices Claire, though, he makes a point to make introductions, "Brinley, this is Claire. She's a new addition here, still figuring out exactly what she wants to do. Claire, this is Brinley," he says, standing between the two women for a moment. He takes a sip of his tea and then glances at the two.

"Goodness, but I am being quite rude. Would either of you like some tea or coffee? I can easily pop into the mansion to get some. You as well, Herr Drake."

With a wriggle of her hips that's both indecent and hilarious, the ice either melts or isn't somewhere awful. With a huff and an indignant flush, the rosy-hued woman finally faces Bobby and Brin and gives a little bow. "Nice to meet you," she mumbles, taking a snow cone and nibbling on it. She shakes her head at Kurt and thanks him. "What's 'X-Red?" she asks, her brow furrowing a little with curiosity. She's only heard bits and pieces of the X-Men, so far. It might be foolish standing here on these grounds, but she finds it a little hard to believe.

"X-Men, but not secret." Its the best way Bobby can explain things. "We all work for DaCosta Industries. Use our powers in the course of our work. And sometimes get contracted to do other things. Trying to show people that in all the ways that matter we really are like them." They've got their success stories… and there not-quite-so-success stories. Brinley is intimately familair with both.

The kids file past, each taking a snowcone. WHen they're all done, well, there's leftovers. Bobby, of course, made sure the adults could get sugared up as well if they wanted.

"I'd like tea, Kurt." The ice nerd volunteers, nodding as Claire is introduced and Betsy… does her thing. If she's recently changed he can understand being… sensitive.

"Hello Claire and welcome" Brin casts a questioning look at Kurt. "We're kind of the public face to the X-Teams." Brin expands a little "Do a bit of PR ummm, Public Relations. Bobby here does monthly talks about X-Red to get the message out, he's also doing work on flood relief after the Atlanteans messed with the weather a couple of months ago." Watching Betsy for a moment, Brin allows herself to be distracted by Kurt, "Coffee, please… would you like some help?"

Betsy finishes a last loop and steps easily out of the pond, balancing comfortably on the skate blades and stepping towards the group. "Tea would be lovely, Kurt, thank you," she tells the blue mutant with a flickering suggestion of a smile. She looks to Bobby, Brin, and Claire, absently tucking her fingertips into her jeans pockets. "It's a good idea," she says, expressing her approval to the little group. "A combination of public face and purpose that Blue sometimes lacks. It gives a sense of accountability and advances our goals as a community."

Kurt Wagner smiles to the gathered, "Back in a simple jiffy, then," he says. There's a quick *BAMF* as he vanishes, the sulfurous tinge to the air marking his sudden departure. He's not gone for terribly long - he usually keeps a certain level of refreshment on hand. Moments later, he returns with coffee and tea alike, a small thermos of coffee in his tail for Brin, the tea in hand for the others, "I appreciate the offer, Brinley, but I wouldn't trouble you - nor make you suffer the aftermath of teleportaiton just to spare myself a limb," he smiles, letting the others explain the nuances of the X-men divisions.

Blink shoots Betsy a dirty look, a teasing expression that's rather brazen for the nervous young woman. She listens though, trying to understand how it's all supposed to work. "So… you're the spokesman and the poster-child?" she asks Bobby, curious. Her ice cone is almost gone and she can feel an ache in her skull- brain freeze. "What kinds of things do you do?"

Betsy more or less has it right there. "Well, corporate work. Chairity work. Disaster relief - I've been doing a lot of that one personally - and generally being mutants that people know and can talk to and call and e-mail and look up on face book rather than ones that are only ever seen in the news when something goes wrong. Which isn't a smear on the other teams. They do their job well but… the news only ever reports on anything when it's wrong. So you know, if they show up its inevitably overhyped hysteria about 'yet more metahuman disorder.'" He glances over to Brin as he accepts the tea from Kurt. "Thanks Kurt. Did I cover it all Brin?"

"Pretty much, Bobby. Betsy too." Brin offers Kurt a warm smile as she takes the thermos "Only polite to offer, Kurt." she murmurs. "Think of it as us giving room for the others to do their thing. I mean, we're all powered… but some of us aren't all that suited to field work." Brin can and has worked in the field, but she prefers not to.

"Regrettably, Blue team tends to have a more clandestine design," Betsy explains to those who aren't familiar with the 'parent' team. "The operations we engage in are less visible, for a number of reasons. And we might have operations that call for all of us to be active to deal with a highly visible threat, or, simply send in one or two at a time." She shrugs, tapping the point of one skate on the ground behind her. "Different methods; different objectives. Same goal."

A snowball from a renewed fight goes sailing through the air, and funny enough no one gets hit save … Blink. Ice cone gone and her hands free, wired from her need for avenge with Betsy's awful, perfect aim from before, Blink makes the bold decision to strike up a war with the younger students. There's a whirl of pink and smoke, unaware how fast she's going or how she's doing it, picking up an armful of errant snowballs and going after shrieking, laughing students as best as her short legs can manage, leaving the 'grown-ups' in a whirl of snow and laughter. <exit, and thank you guys!>

Kurt Wagner shakes his head slightly, "You're very welcome, of ocurse," he says. He takes another sip of his own tea, his book tucked back under his arm, having retrieved it while in the process of coming back from the kitchen, the thick tome promising many long nights spent in contemplation.

"I admit, I find the entire division a little strange. It was not so when I departed and, upon my return, I find I am to pick a color and decide what kind of 'missions' I would go on. I confess, it is all very…militaristic to me. I do not care for it. But these are the times in which we live, I suppose," he sighs.

"Well…" Bobby waggles a hand. "It's not quite so set as that Kurt. I've helped on Blue missions before. And Gold missions. The big thing with Red is that you have to be prepared to be public. No mask, no anonymity. Not everyone's prepared to do that so there tends to be a divide there." Otherwise it's help as needed and as you're able, which is more traditionally X-Ish. "But you know, times, they've been a-chaingin'." That said with a grin to Brinley and Betsy.

"That's true. I've helped with a couple of Blue missions since I returned from my … ah … R&R" Brin cants her head at Kurt "and I will continue to. But with being outed as a child, going to X-Red and doing what we do… it suits." For all that she's reserved and quiet, Brinley is a people person.

"And yes, as Bobby says, things are changing." Blinks involvment with the young children has Brin smiling sadly… "It's good to see that the kids can still be kids."

Betsy smiles happily when Blink dashes off- it's a rare expression on the stoic Asian, and it lights her face up in new ways. She composes herself quickly and returns the conversation, wincing at Kurt minutely at his objection to the arrangement. "Scott's reasoning is sound, Kurt," she murmurs. "We aren't military- any one of us can leave at any time. But while we're here, we need to be a disciplined, united unit. A military discipline can help immensely in that regard. You only need volunteer for a team if you're of a mind to use your assets off the Institute," she reminds him. "You're welcome to a life of contemplation and instruction here, as you well know."

She finally reaches for the tea Kurt had brought, deeming it sufficiently steeped, and sips carefully, holding the saucer in her other hand. "There are times we need to be the shepherd and times we need to be a sheepdog. Red fills one role; Blue, the other."

Kurt Wagner makes a soft face, "Yes, well, Scott and I…have differences of opinion, especially of late," he says gently. "But this is neither the time nor place to discuss such matters. As well you know, Betsy, I am a believer in the shepherd…and I think we can guard our flock without letting our teeth get too very sharp. Otherwise, we risk becoming that which we were meant to oppose," he says.

He shakes his head, "I suppose I sound like an old man, although I am not so very old. Perhaps I am."

Bobby shrugs. He frankly has his differences with a lot of the X-Men, particularly the older crew. Very specific, pointed differences. But in the end he's still here because he believes in the goal. The cause, as it were. Mutants, living without fear with people. They're all here for the same reason. "Well, I think the kids can play in this for a while yet before it melts. Pool'll probably take a while… maybe you can get Scott to cut the ice up… well, unless you want to keep using it." He grins at Betsy. "I'm gonna go get my guitar out of the car and entertain the kiddos inside for a while. You guys enjoy the snow. I'll be back to do it in a couple of weeks." Too often and it gets old but… hey, who would torture the poor guys by only doing it once?

"I'll come help, Bobby." Brinley isn't really interested in discussing the issue. They've all got a job to do and she'll do hers. Mind, she still has nightmares of the Purifier attack on the Paragons… which have been triggered even more by the latest attacks. "Thanks for the coffee, Kurt. Nice iceskating, Betsy. It's good to see the kids having some fun."

Betsy nods at Bobby regally. The Ice Queen in her element? "This was very kind of you, Bobby," she tells the man with approval in her tone. "The children had a great deal of fun. Do please come again," she invites him. "I have a place in the city now, so if you would like to catch up over coffee, just text me. I almost always have my phone with me."

She glances sidelong at Kurt. "You're not the only one," she reminds him in a murmur with a somewhat sour expression. She steps away and back onto the ice, gliding across it towards her wedge heels so she can get back to work, herself.

She spins, once, before stopping. "Brinley, if you want to learn, I'll give you some instruction next time I see you," she offers, before settling down at the edge of the pool once more.

Kurt Wagner nods softly for a moment, feeling a bit of the chill coming off of Brinley and Bobby, the metaphorical kind, and gives a soft nod, "I will leave you to your play. For now, I think, I will return to the mansion. I would like to be able to catch up on my reading, and I'm afraid the students likely won't allow me to read in peace. It was a pleasure to see you all. Auf wiedersen," he says, disappearing quickly thereafter in a puff of sulfur, only to reappear again for a quick moment, 'Oh, please don't forget to leave your cups in the dishwasher before you go? Danke." *BAMF*

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