Honest Work

July 09, 2015:

Jean and Kurt meet to discuss Rachel and Scott, Piotr is met soon after and offered a job to help out in the school.

Jean's Office

Jean Grey's office has a comfortable feel, lived in, the office of
a person who actually does work and doesn't merely sit at a desk for show.
Nonetheless, it is lushly appointed, by any measure, as a sign of her status
and her taste for fine things.
The shelf-lined walls brim with books of every type, spine after
leather-bound spine. Despite the definite diversity, psychology, education
and medicine seem to be the strongest subjects. Her rosewood desk almost
spans the width of the room, separating her from anyone in the
check-upholstered guest chairs. She sits on supple, dark red leather, the
chair a bit overlarge to allow her the pleasure of lounging. She usually
keeps the blinds open, in sunlight or storm, and will open the window when
weather permits. A large, antique lamp sits on one corner of the desk, a
Tiffany's piece with colored glass, art deco vintage and a gift from Jean's
mother.
A large blotter, trimmed in green, takes up much of her desk. She
has the required calendar, pen-marked in black and red, appointments,
revisions and notations scrawled everywhere in her looping, ornate script.
Multiple teacups, one almost always full, along with a portable,
self-brewing pot, to save her a trip down to the kitchen, and an array of
teas to her taste stacked alongside. She has the usual cup of pens, rulers,
paperclips and the like, and the in/out trays every academic can't do
without. There's almost always a stack of homework, waiting to be graded,
not to mention other administrative matters.
Jean's office reflects her responsibility, her dedication and her
importance to Xavier's academy. If Jean is, as some say, the school's heart,
then this office is one of its chambers from which her lifeblood flows out
to the people to whom she has dedicated so much of her life.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Kurt Wagner returned to the Institute late last night, after leaving Rachel and Piotr behind in their fugitive hideout. He didn't like leaving them behind, but he recognized that he needed to keep Jean updated on what was going on - and find out, from her, what, if anything, the X-men might do about it going forward.

He stopped at the medical wing long enough to get his shoulderly properly attended, a fresh bandage, an annoyed look from the doctor and a supply of pain medication provided. He knocks on the door to her room, although he knows Jean can easily sense his presence without need for such formalities. But Kurt's always had good manners.

"Jean?" he calls simply.

*

"No, I know. Just find something and I'll get back to you as soon as possible." Jean tried her best to get off of the current phone call, per usual, one of the students was upset about a recent death in the family. It was all natural, the grandparent dying of old age and she wanted to find something to comfort the poor child. As she hears the slight knock, she hangs up the phone, a slight frown drawing upon her lips as she calls out..

"It's open."

Within her chair, the good Doctor waits for Kurt to enter, her eyes gleaming with a little bit of hope.

*

Kurt Wagner makes his way in and takes a seat across from Jean at her desk, crossing his legs underneath himself. Sometimes he has a hard time adjusting to conventional furniture - his body just naturally wants to perch or crouch. He doesn't have any small talk to make and isn't sure what he'd say if he did. So he just gets into it.

"You probably heard about the assault on Mutant Town, the helicopters and such. I was involved, as, of course, were several others. Notably Rachel and Scott. Everyone is fine, I want to assure you - we had some help from Illyana's brother, actually, the one who was in the Brotherhood…he seems to be…questioning his place in the state of things. At any rate, I want to assure you that she's safe and unharmed."

"Scott has gone, last I saw, to meet with Captain America and to continue to negotiate for…whatever it is he's negotiating for. I'm not entirely sure. The people we fought with certainly seemed quite intent on not just capturing, but killing us. I was not heartened by the experience."

*

There was no fanfaire in his movements, no kiss of the cheek. Trepidation could have been felt but she wasn't sure; maybe it was from someone passing in the hallway, maybe it was something from afar. Maybe it was just her. Her fingers lower to the chair, her eyes intent upon Kurt. But once he starts to speak? Her eyes narrow faintly. Ever so faintly, and that narrowing could be seen as well as felt.

Her teeth clench just a touch as her fingers begin to squeeze against the wood, the tight stroking of the element causes a slight squeak to draw from her palms. And the sound of scratching.. or was that cracking.. it wasn't the chamber door that knocks but only a few glasses that break once all was said and done.

And then she calms.

"Is that all?" She asks, her voice gravely quiet.

*

Kurt Wagner winces slightly, recognizing that he doesn't precisely bring the very best of news. But that is the way things are, and there's no point in playing coy about it. "Rachel said that, if thing get too bad, she had information on a pad in her room, of a safe haven where mutants could go to hide if persecution got out of hand. I hope that it won't come to anything like that," he sighs. "I fear that, coming from the future in which she grew up, she is not particularly prone to expect hopeful outcomes. And, while things seemed bleak that night, I do not necessarily think the actions of even a few well-armed men can speak for all of humanity," he sighs.

"I'm convinced there are prejudiced elements trying to distort the story and maket hings worse, to stoke the flames of hatred. The news reports about what happened have been twisted…there's some other force at work here beyond a mere misunderstanding."

*

She lets out a little sigh, her body leaning forward as her head lowers, her leg bouncing with slight agitation as she gives a sigh and a shake of her head. "I believe I know where it is." Jean states, her bottom lip curling the rest of her features into a deep frown. "This is why I said, I needed to see her first. And this is exactly why I said, that we take care of our own, Kurt." She pounds her first against the seat of the chair, her head shaking.

"If she was brought home, do you think that all of this would have happened? We could have gotten to the bottom of this. And now she and Scott.." She shakes her head.. "I've been dealt a hand that I don't think I even want to handle. It's not making me the person that I once was.."

".. And we should have known better. We -should- have. Which is pissing me off more than anything else."
*

The door opens an inch, three raps. "Excuse me. I was told I should be talking with a, uh, Miss Grey?" The door opens another handful of inches, a tall and powerfully built man in his mid twenties at first glance stands at the doorway. "Oh, is you again." Colossus nods at Nightcrawler, "I can come back later if now is bad time?" He seems vaguely uncomfortable but reports do state that he's been on the road or in the great wilderness for the last six months at least. Maybe a little civilization just comes off as uncomfortable for him.

*

Kurt Wagner holds his three fingered hands up, "I don't disagree with you, Jean. We should've handled this as a team, not letting Rachel play lone-wolf and pulling us in piecemeal," he sighs. "But hindsight is always twenty-twenty. We must determine the best course of action going forward, ja? She did not want the risk of the school being attacked directly by those hunting her. She thought she was doing the right thing. The same is true for everyone involved," he sighs.

He looks back over his shoulder at Piotr's arrival and nods, "No, no, please, come in, Herr Rasputin. Have you and Miss Grey met before? I had already spoken of the invaluable help you provided to us in Mutant Town," he smiles.

*

"Hindsight my ass." Jean quips, she was obviously bothered by the entire thing. She almost felt like she was left holding the bag that was leaking. But, she shakes her head. "Sometimes, isolating yourself is not always the right thing. Neither is hanging oneself out to dry, which you helped influence. Thank you." Ayep, she was upset.

Though, that all changes for the moment as Mr. Rasputin enters, her brows lifting in a faint look of surprise as he enters, the man was big as all get out and it was rare.. aside from Mimic, of her ever seeing anyone as tall and large as he. "Oh please. Come in, Sir. Have a seat.." She smiles warmly, even though that warmth barely reaches her eyes. If one could read people, there would be fear, worry, and sadness. It all was with misplaced anger. "You can call me Jean. With as many misplaced offspring that I may or may not have running around, I'm starting to feel old." Good ol' Charles humor.

*

"I, uh, think that Miss Grey might be more appropriate? Jean, okay, I will remember." He uncomfortably takes a seat, drumming at the arm rest of the chair as he nods again at Nightcrawler. "No, I haven't been back here since I stopped and asked the Professor Xavier to safeguard Illyana. That was, uh, before her strange magical reimagining." He swallows as he forces himself to relax, "I hear that Rachel is in custody now. This is good that it is public, da? No more assassins maybe."

"It is nice to meet you, Jean. Rachel did not speak of you much while we were on run, but every bit of it seemed good that she did say." Colossus finishes.

*

Kurt Wagner has learned, from long practice, the trick of 'thinking loudly', managing to project his thoughts outwards in a way that Jean will no doubt pick up on them, even without him speaking aloud. My recall is that you wanted to be the one to hang yourself out to dry instead. I didn't favor either of you making the sacrifice on Rachel's behalf. She is an adult and responsible for her own actions. But I reiterate - recriminations will help no one now.

He allows Piotr and Jean to address one another directly - she's the one in charge, after all, and he, frankly, feels a certain measure of sting at her words. Did he bear any responsibility for what had happened? Perhaps. Sometimes he showed too much deference to others, not wanting to push his own feelings or thoughts on others. If he was to take a greater share of leadership, as they had all discussed, then that would have to change as times moved forward.

*

Jean smiles towards Piotr, her head dipping just a touch as she splays her fingers. "Is there anything you'd like me to call you?" Rasputin, thats where that name came from. Possibly one of Illyana's ilk, though she couldn't guess the direct relation. Him mentioning her name helped, but she didn't inquire further.

"I don't know what good that would do, Sir Rasputin. Because of who she is and what she is, it may be concerning as to what would ultimately happen to her." It was clear worry there, and though his mentioning of Rachel when it came to her, causes her brow to raise. "Perhaps I'm the less popular parent."

She picks up upon Kurt's thoughts loud and clear, her jaw tensing a little as she shakes her head. Her own thoughts projected out into the ethers, directed towards him. And who would have been better suited in this chair? Certainly not me."

She lets the topic drop, still agitated, but.. what more could they do? The past.. was of the past. Her anger was nearly falling into the childish sort of zones.

*

"Oh, sorry! Piotr, please." Colossus says grimacing as he is reminded of his manners. "Sorry, I am more used to talking to birds it seems than human beings. I will get over it in time, I am sure… and it is not that you were less popular is just that her other one happened to being carried in my arms." Two strikes so far on having competent interpersonal communication skills. "Just means that survival and avoiding helicopter attacks took priority over talks about family. It seemed to me that she loved you both very much." He shuffles uncomfortably, "Uh, she said I should join X-men, but though I found her enthuiasm and stories about your school pleasing to ear, is not why I came… an' not why I stay. As, uh, Kurt here says. Is not military force, or goon squad. I know very little else. I just simply wanted to make sure that Rachel was alright and then I will go. I can find work, still young and strong." He looks between the two, as if sensing the hidden communication. "I just wanted to meet you."

He's rambling. Alot.

*

Kurt Wagner shakes his head, No one is better suited to lead us than you, Jean. I hope you will come to see that. he says, but he does not expound further. He understands that everything involved is complicated, even more so given the familial mess that seems to have been created in recent days. His only family has ever been adopted - built on choice and relationships, not obligation or genetics. Most of that family has been in the X-men. He considers Jean among it.

"I did not mean to seem entirely discouraging, Piotr. I simply wanted to make it clear that we aspire to be something better here. Not that I didn't think you were capable of it. And if you need help making yourself capable, we can provide that as well," he says. "It is true that we need to make more friends going forward. We have more than enough enemies."

*

Jean sighs a little, slightly umcomfortable with the discussion at hand. Though, her eyes lift to Piotr as he begins to speak, and slowly.. very so slowly, she grins. "I talk to birds too!" Alright, that came out of nowhere. But it was true in the fact that she did. Why, there's a bear out on the compound not too far from the school who loves her dried meat snacks. "Perhaps one day, we shall talk to them together, yes Piotr?" But, she stands from her desk then, taking a few steps forward to reach out an attempt to touch Colossus shoulder. There was no trick there, just human empathy, nothing more, nothing less.

"You are a gentle soul, Piotr. And I can understand why you say what you say. But gentle souls have a place amongst us, not everyone follows our creed. Some people are here to seek rest and refuge, while others are here to learn and earn degrees that would make them capable in life. Our main motto, is to help. Help each other and help ourselves grow to our fullest potential."

"And to learn to be kind. No matter who, or what we are. Or where and when we are from, really.." She smiles then, and if the hand wasn't moved from his shoulder, she does it then.

"Before you do leave, there are a few things that I would like your help with. You say you are young and strong. Perhaps you can help me with a few students who wish to purchase their furniture and re-arrange their rooms? They are small things and I certainly couldn't lift everything myself."

*

"Sometimes they sing back. I try not to sing. They run when they hear my singing." Piotr says, allowing himself a brief smile. He looks down at the hand on his shoulder, and then up, across to Nightcrawler. Vaguely uncomfortable again. "I'm not so gentle." There's stories there. Alot of them. At the mention of work, he nods his head, rising out of his chair. "Of course. Happy to be helping. Though… if something comes up in regards to Rachel?" The request is left unspoken since it's fairly obvious. "Thank you, Kurt. You are very kind. These students that need help, where should I go?"

At two distinct parts of his conversation is accompanied with very strong thoughts that he accidentally transmit to a sensitive telepath such as a Grey. One is of fire, sounds of gunshots, desperate escape through a jungle. The other is a dark room, quiet, and strangely enough causes a hankering for popcorn and soda. "I will go now and let you two have rest of conversation in peace."

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