Melancholy

September 05, 2015:

Jean is finally awake in the infirmary of X-HQ.

X-Headquarters

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Kurt Wagner has finally been given a clean bill of health, his cast removed, and he's in the gymnasium, making sure everything's in order. He's been tumbling, throwing himself around, somersaulting. He's even deliberately missed a few times, landing on his shoulder and rolling to make sure he can take a bump and not come up screaming. Satisfied at last, he grabs a towel and wraps it around his head, sighing as he takes a seat on a weight bench more suited to those who do conventional workouts. Kurt is very rarely conventional.

He had been, once again, keeping to himself a bit - while he was pleased with the success in bringing Jean back, the last few weeks had been hard on Kurt, between the emotional turmoil of that and the chaos in Mutant Town. He was hoping they would enter a quieter time, but he knew better than to expect it. He had to stay ready.


Jean had been back for only a week; the whammy that Psylocke had put her under had her out, but it gave her time to shift personalities to what was real. She didn't wake with a start, for she was truly exhausted, injured, and had barely slept as her time as the elusive 'Alpha'. But she was finally awake within her hospital bed, still pale.. her slight smattering of freckles almost dull as well as the color of her eyes. The oxygen mask hangs upon her nose lazily as the IV drop continues to feed her antibiotics.

With or without powers, she still had human physiology.

A tray set in front of her, filled with her favorites; waffles with blueberry syrup, bacon and sausage patties, links and a little mound of eggs with green peppers and onions. Coffee and juice on the side. Someone.. or possibly the nurses, were over doing it just a touch.


Showered from his workout and refreshed, Kurt decides it's probably time he checked in on Jean since her restoration. He BAMFs easily enough, vanishing from one place to the other, until he arrives in the medical wing. The staff are, of course, all too used to his presence, having spent so much time here in recent days. Not without irony, since Jean was the one who put him here repeatedly.

He pokes his head around, "Guten tag, fraulein. My, you have quite a feast before you. I do not recall such treatment when I was here. Where is your gruel?" he says with a playful smirk.


The fork was taken up with her hand, pushed around just a little as she glances up towards the door, a smile upon her face as she tries her best to sit up, even though there was a hint of soreness that she feels. "Hi Kurt.." She murmurs softly, carefully dropping the fork to push the food away, settling to lean against the pillow with a sigh.

"With the way my stomach feels, this is almost like gruel. I haven't been able to eat yet." More or less, she didn't want to. She knew the signs; she was suffering from depression. But, she wouldn't dare let anyone fuss over her for that. "How are you.."


Kurt Wagner takes the seat at her bedside, wearing an Xavier's school t-shirt and sweatpants, tail flicking from the back as he settles in. "I am well. Fully recovered, according to the doctors. And I feel as if…a storm has passed, with apologies to Ororo. Which is to say I should probably be looking under the beds and in the closets for monsters," he says wryly.

"But, obviously, the greater concern we all have is for you - I am sure you are already tired of being attended and watched and fussed over, because you are not a person who likes those things to begin with. I hope you can at least tolerate it for a bit - we were all very afraid for you and we will need you to be patient with us while we regain our bearings," he smiles.


Jean smiles just a touch, her gaze falling to her plate, her fingers idly pressing against the waffles to tear it to pieces with her fingers. Thankfully, the syrup wasn't poured on, but it would allow her to dip if she chooses. "That is good to hear.." Though, she does cringe at the word 'monster'.

Jean shakes her head slightly, a hand lifting to press against her face, then soon upon the bed as she shifts herself upright so that she could eat properly. She was putting on a face, but as long as she had food in her belly the nurses were all the more happy.

"I.. am usually not so full of self loathing or anything else." Jean murmurs softly. "But.. no one has to worry about me. If anything, I'd rather everyone keep their distance from me for their own safety. I do not think that I'm a good person to be around right now."


Kurt Wagner sighs softly and runs a hand back through his hair, "I was somewhat afraid you might have been feeling this way. I am certain you have already heard it all - that you are not responsible for what happened. That you cannot blame yourself. That this was something that was done to you - you are a victim, plain and simple, not a perpetrator, not a co-conspirator. I am also sure that, having heard those, you promptly dismissed them."

"You hold yourself to a high standard, even an impossible one, Jean. It is good to have aspirations, but perfection is not achievable - not even desirable. You have failed no one, not even yourself. You have simply succumbed, been overwhelmed. You were targeted because you are among the best of us - because you are the heart of this school and this team. You were not chosen because you are vulnerable, but because you are loved. Because, by hurting you, they could hurt us. That is not your fault. I hope, in time, you will come to understand that, truly - but I also understand the pleasures of self-flagellation. I was, after all, almost a priest," he says with a light smile.


Jean continues to pick and poke at the waffles, keeping her eye contact to a minimum, her bottom lip nearly stuck out as if she were about to pout but she doesn't. She was still tired, but that was all well and good, and soon.. unable to even try to touch her rather large breakfast, she slides the tray itself over and off to the side, but wisely out of anyones reach save for the nurses.

"That's what all of the nurses say. I've heard the lingo, yes. But I know my own guilt and what I personally have to deal with. And that includes hurting all of you. I may not have been driving, but I left myself open for this to happen. And it shouldn't have."

Her fingers lift to tug the oxygen mask from her face, attempting to take a few breaths without it's assistance, her head twisting left and right as she offers up a little smile, that alone dismissing the subject of how she felt, internally. "Besides, you are the first one I've spoken to since I've been awake. How is everyone else?"


The sole sign of Betsy's distress at Jean's prolonged absence was that she'd let her normally immaculate appearance slack. A trend towards comfortable and more manageable clothing, a simpler hairstyle.

With Jean back, in one form or another, and all therefore right with the world, Betsy had gone back to being her slightly less icy self, and therefore gone diving into her wardrobe. Wearing black slacks and a yellow blouse, she almost looks like a wasp in heels. She strides into the room with no trace of surprise at Kurt's presence or Jean's return to consciousness. She stops at the other side of the bed and nods gracefully at Kurt. "Hullo, Kurt. Nice to see you."

She looks at Jean's face with a blank scrutiny, then exhales a short breath and sets her shoulders into her comfortably rigid, British posture.

"You look dreadful," she tells Jean bluntly. "Just once, it'd be nice if someone was brainwashed with a personality that had an understanding of a basic beauty regimine."


Scott's late. Entirely unusual, but this time around, there are very good reasons. He wanted a nice shave. He needed a shower. And for once, he wanted to make a valiant attempt at looking nice.

It took some work. He had to dig past the Ralph Lauren, willfully ignoring the Eddie Bauer, and delved into the very back of his meager closet for something his friends had forced him to purchase well over a year ago. It's a good thing he thought to remove the tags.

When he enters the medilab, Scott is dressed in a dark gray collared shirt, but it's a slim fit with mock epaulettes, definitely a sign that it was purchased in 2014. His jeans aren't quite skinny, but they aren't his usual boot cut. Straight leg. It's a stretch. And upon his feet? Believe it or not, red Chuck Taylors to match his glasses. Over it all, his trusty old duster, the one article of clothing he's had since the 90's and it has always been 'cool'.

"Nonsense, Bets. She looks right at home." A smirk is sent Jean's way, with a familiarity that suggests she hasn't been gone. At least not from him.


Kurt Wagner nods to Scott and Betsy as they arrive, distracting him momentarily from Jean's determination to blame herself. He'd expected as much, but he had to try, at the very least. Absolving sin was still a part of his gig, even if it wasn't official. "Nonetheless, I hope you find a way to be as kind and forgiving to yourself as you so often are for others,' he says. "But I won't tell you how to feel or deal with it - only you can say when you have begun to recover, no one else. But, as the others I'm sure will agree, we are all simply glad to see you," he says.


There was an all too obvious, but quiet groan as Betsy steps into the room dressed to the nines. Well, Jean's view of the nines, was something that wasn't found at the local thrift shop or off the racks of K-Mart or in the sale bin of Walmart. It was a slow and subtle movement, the way her hand lifts to lightly tug at her hair, her gaze downward as Betsy stands and admonishes her current state of dress. "I can't exactly comb my hair while I'm asleep, Elizabeth." Full names only allowed. Though there was a hint of shame because she really.. really didn't try. "Good to see you."

But, it was that familiar tug that anchored within the hallway and into the door, her green eyes darting towards him as her smile picks up, then.. fades just a little, and tilts. If someone could say 'damn' outloud without offending most, she probably would. "If right at home means rode hard and put away wet.. but she has a point.." What in the world were the two talking about in their link?

She waves her hands slightly, even shaking her head towards Kurt. "I'll be fine, as long as everyone is okay." Finally, she draws the tray around so everyone could partake of her breakfast, leaving herself out of the foray of food for now. "Someone eat this before it gets cold?"


Betsy can't help but look relieved at Jean's jab back at her. "That was a bit weak as far as repartee, but I forgive you," she assures Jean. She leans down and brushes that mussy hair aside and kisses Jean's forehead with real affection and smiles at the woman. Her eyes flicker to the mussy hair under her immaculate nails and with visible restraint, she refrains from attacking Jean outright with her emergency brush. Still, she smiles happily, and when Scott enters, he gets a bit of that fleeting but luminous expression.

"Damn!" she exclaims. "Why Scott, you actually look almost respectable," she tells him appreciatively.

"Did the girls at the Abercrombie store help you put that together, or did you manage to do it all by yourself?" she says a bit tauntingly. Well, so much for an unfettered compliment. She glances at the plate and wrinkles her nose at the sugary carbs, shaking her head minutely at Jean's invitation to dine.


"You're an X-Man, Jean," Scott replies. "Don't you remember? We spend half our lives in this damn medilab." Glancing about, Scott idly considers who has the record. There's a chance it's a three way tie between himself, Jean, and Kurt. Betsy, it seems, has the wherewithal to avoid ending up in this place, which probably contributes to the reason he chose her for X-Black Field Leader.

Lips curl into a rueful smirk. "Roboto DaCosta and Mike Drakos," he explains to her. Those two names are bound to explain quite a bit.

"Guess this means you're off the hook, Nightcrawler." As he approaches, he gives an appreciative touch to Kurt's shoulder, knowing how hard he'd worked at keeping things together under Jean's absence. He's already eaten, so he casually declines with a gesture. Then, he produces a red rose from inside his duster, thorns removed, and leans down to tuck it behind Jean's ear. "Better."


With no one else stepping up to the literal plate, Kurt takes the tray for himself, "I would defer and pretend that I dont' want to eat waffles and bacon and sausage, but I can assure you that lying is sinful and I have enough to confess already. So I will alleve Jean of the burden of her food, ja, and you will all pretend that I am doing it out of the goodness of my heart," he says, popping a sausage into his mouth.

"And I am always on the hook, Scott, mein freund - it is only a question of who is going to be biting."


"If my time away has taught me anything, its to save the best jabs, along with swear words, for when they really count." It was a moment of ill humor, though she looks grave in that moment, as she receives a kiss upon the forehead. "Thank you, by the by." She murmurs quietly, taking in a slight sniff and clearing her throat, her attentions back upon Scott again as she smiles ruefully. "He's handsome."

Any further words were spared as the rose was slipped in between lobe and temple, a slight tear drawing upon her face as she quickly draws both hands up to wipe them away. She promised herself she wouldn't cry, and she was going to hold to it.

As Kurt takes the food, she looks momentarily relieved, then gets down to business. "I suppose that I will only stay a few days here, maybe one.." She hasn't tried to move around yet, but she did get a few good nights rest thanks to Betsy. "But I suppose a debriefing is in order and a check of those Mutant Town captives that we rescued. Has anyone heard any news from X-Red regarding their care?"


"I didn't say he wasn't handsome," Betsy corrects Jean. Her eyes dart to the tray when Kurt manages to find the sausages hidden under a pancake, and she flicks a fingertip out and with a surprisingly precise application of telekinesis, brings it winging to her immaculate fingernails. She glances at Kurt and winks conspiratorially before taking a polite little bite. "Just surprised that he can, on occassion, manage to dress like an adult." She gives Scott her more innocent and therefore, most disingenuous look.

"Mutant town, I regret to say, is a loss," Betsy tells Jean. "What buildings that weren't destroyed are functionally uninhabitable. I'm not entirely sure what agencies are involved, but I do believe FEMA is working to relocate the survivors. Fortunately, casualties were relatively light," she tells Jean, moving around Scott to sit near Jean's feet on the edge of the gurney.


Talk of Mutant Town has him frowning. Deep down, Scott has a very troubling secret; it's a secret he's struggled with even without Jean's knowledge. He knows who had been outfitting District X with weapons. He tried to reason with the Partisan, but it was to no use. Had the X-Men put an end to her antics, M-Town may not have suffered such terrible a reprise at the hands of the Purifiers. But how does one stop the immortal? How does one apprehend a being who possibly cannot even be killed?

Close to the chest he carries the thought, but it has him silent for some time. "I dress like a professional," he blandly retorts, before smiling at Jean and leaning forward to press a kiss to her cheek. Snogging in front of teammates would also be unprofessional. "Best we can do now, is step in to offer FEMA what support we can. Frankly, it will be a nice change of pace, helping rather than fighting. I intend to make way for the city at dawn."


Kurt Wagner is deeply troubled by everything that happened with Mutant Town - he was horrified by the slaughter on both sides. Even now, he used his teleportation abilities to circumvent the borders sand get inside to provide help where he could, ministering to the weak and the broken, offering comfort to those in hiding. Relocation was, indeed, discussed, but no one was precisely thrilled to trust the government to help them find a new place to live.

As usual, the refugees would likely have to fend for themselves in the end. And if Kurt ever discovered that any among the X-men had anything to do with the armed slaughter that took place…he would be very displeased to say the least.


"And can you imagine what he'd look like in a tuxedo?" She smiles fondly towards Scott, but drops it entirely. Her hand lifts to thumb at the patch upon her temple, one that's covered over and bandaged, her attentions soon turning towards the bandages upon her neck. She looked pale in that moment, her voice obviously quiet. "It sickens me to know that in some indirect way I had a hand in it's downfall.. from start to finish.."

But there was something that she could pick up, not upon the surface, one that has her eyes darting towards Scott with a tilt of her head. If she knew what it was, there would be instant relief, for she had her verbal battle of words with the Wolf Goddess and came out with extensive knowledge of firearms, and the fact that X-Red pulled the trigger on the entire thing.

But, she was met with a kiss, her eyes closing as her hand reaches out to lightly brush along his cheek, smiling one he pulls away. "I will speak to the Professor as soon as I leave here to tap into his contacts with Damage Control. Perhaps they could provide more assistance than FEMA or any other government agency can." At the mention of him leaving to down, she gives a slight shake of her head. "I'm coming with you."


"No, you're not," Betsy tells Jean instantly when she insists on coming along. "You're going to stay here and rest. We don't need your help, and I shan't be seen wandering around with a tousle-haired ginge with a severe case of self-prescribed melancholia," she says, shifting off the bed and poking Jean's foot pointedly. "Your job is to stay, and rest, and heal. Or, I can subdue you again," Betsy suggests archly. "An induced coma would certainly accelerate the healing process."

"Well, I'm off. Must meet with Emma for tea this afternoon," she says, waving a hand. She smiles at Kurt again, quickly, then at Scott and Jean, before reassuming her perfect, implacable expression. "Do give a ring if you need anything, Jean, dear," she tells Jean. She turns smoothly, high heels be damned, and strides out of the room.


In a tuxedo!? Scott balks at Jean for a moment, mouth hanging open. He doesn't speak of X-Red, or of the Partisan, but the entire affair is a stain upon the very institution Charles Xavier established so many years ago. It's a stain he intends to deal with… whenever he's able to actually decide how to deal with it.

Backing up Elizabeth's denial, Scott rises and moves over toward her, hands planted on his waist. "Penance in curriculum planning, Jean. We need someone to run this school for however long this takes, and I'm not going to slough that off on Ororo completely. But if you're on your best behavior, we can switch out."

A nod is given to Betsy in her departure. Once she's gone, he murmurs, "Thank goodness all of this nonsense decided to strike during the summer break."


Kurt Wagner is mostly involved in eating waffles, at this point - it's rather a full-time affair and he did work out just before he came up to visit Jean, so his appetite is more than healthy. Finally, wiping his mouth with the napkin presented, he chimes in. "I am, of course, happy to help in whatever capacity is necessary," he says simply.


There was a slight wince at her refusal, an even heavier wince at the mention of curriculum. School -was- starting soon, and she was sure that none of the teachers had submitted their syllabus' to her office. A hand raises up to lightly rub at her face, obvious concern growing. Fine. She'll work from bed, at least that much she could do. "Would you mind grabbing my tablet out of my desk drawer? I suppose the school never stops running, even if most of us aren't present.." At least she had that to look forward to, the smiling faces of babes.

Though to Scott? She lifts up her hand, grasping his wrist to lightly tug. "Stay with me til morning, yes? Then maybe you'll be allowed to leave to your duties."

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