Sake of Appearance and Self

November 13, 2014:

Hank and Charles discuss Beasts new serum and his plans to get out more.

Characters

NPCs: Charles Xavier

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

While the two have been friends for a number of years now, Hank hasn't imposed too much on the Professor's time, if he can help it. Certain events, however, have come up and, while he's tried to handle it himself, it's come to a point where speaking with the Professor has become necessary.

Choosing a time when both he and the Professor are usually free, "Charles, I'm wondering if you have a moment?"

"Hank, good to see you." The Professor is in the Japanese style gardens of the Institute. A place well kept by him, Ororo and several others amongst their number who have a green thumb. Rare to exotic plant-life covers the area, bamboo scattered neatly here to there and benches and ornate water fountains make for a spectacular view and resting area.

Charles is in his char, a cup of tea sitting on one of those benches while he tosses food in to the koi pond near him.

Beast walks over to join the other, his hands clasped behind his back. Golden eyes peer over his glasses towards the koi pond, "They'll begin slowing down soon, I imagine…preparing for the Winter freeze." There's pause of silence then as he watches the fish swim about after the food.

Finally, he speaks again, "I have a bit of a conundrum…and it may involve the safeguarding of the Institute so I wanted to discuss it with you. If now's a good time…"

"Yes, this will be one of their last decent meals where they actually surface. The joys of being poikilothermic animals." The Professor smiles and wheels himself around enough to face Beast, "Now is a perfect time. What troubles you, my friend?"

Beast continues to look at the fish even as he speaks. "I've been encouraged…heavily, of late, to 'get out of the lab' and even 'get out of the school'…not permanently, of course, but some have kindly expressed concern for me. I am, however, concerned that I could easily be linked back to the school and the students' secrets exposed. I could use a serum I've developed which would restore my appearance…but I don't know if that's a good lesson for the students to see."

Only then does Hank look back to the Professor. "I may be egotistic in this concern, thinking I'm far more important than I am. But we've already had HYDRA find us and with someone with…someone like me, so obviously linked to the school, I'm afraid that conclusions will be easily drawn."

"A serum?" Xavier stares at Beast thoughtfully. "Have you tested this somehow? What is the source of it, your own work or?" Concern does appear on Charles's features. Concern for Hank at the moment more so than the students and their thoughts. The students are largely vacant aside from the handful that remained behind after that noise with HYDRA. Rightfully so, things have become unsafe for now until they're cleared fully. Many parents were not so re-assured of their children's safety under Xavier's vigil.
"You are very important to the school Hank, that is not your ego speaking there and I understand these concerns for security. Enlighten me more, where do you plan on going and what do you intend on doing that may link you back to the school and require use of a serum I'm just now hearing about?"

"Nancy was the source. Rather, her genetic material. She could nullify abilities and in her presence, I was back to…how I was a little over five years ago." Before he tried this other serum whch sort of backfired. Or didn't, depending on who's opinion. "It hasn't been tested on human mutants yet." Hank has done other testing, however.

"I suppose, just…out. Maybe to a museum…or coffee shops when it's not Halloween. Or for walks in the park." Things he does quite rarely now. "It may not be an immediate link, but I'm not a complete unknown in my field. Once I start introducing myself, someone might follow up." Whether or not he's on record as being affiliated with the school, of course. "I haven't done anything with the serum besides testing. I may destroy it tomorrow…I don't know yet."

"If it is safe, this is quite a breakthrough, Hank." Charles says with a continued smile, "Your appearance doesn't change who or what you are and if you feel venturing forth and just going out, to connect with the rest of humanity, I see no harm in hiding your appearance for the sake of safety. As long as it's under the right motivations. You have nothing to be ashamed of." Another handful of food is lazily tossed off the man's lap and he pauses just long enough to watch a couple of the colorful fish break the surface.

"Just please, if you do go this route, make sure it will not harm you or others. You understand what your work is capable of more than anyone. Keep it our secret. At least for now."

"I guess," Hank starts, crouching down as if to look closer at the fish in the pond, "Is that telling our students that we should hide who we are? I know that we're a secret here, but we're also teaching that they should embrace who they are and what they can do, and how they look. Would it be sending the wrong message if a teacher was known to hide like that?" There's a pause, "If they ever find out. They probably would eventually, but I suppose I could turn back at the gate…" assuming the serum works the way he planned it to work.

"Do you feel hiding your appearance alone hides who you are?" Charles asks, "We're in a rather outstanding world with many who support our rights and those who do not. The Friends of Humanity, HYDRA, they are still, constant threats. As much as I would like to say the world understands accepts us, that would be a lie. A construction worker doesn't enter a potentially dangerous site without a hard hat, a surgeon without gloves, I don't personally see you altering your appearance for the sake of your own personal safety or others as you not standing up for our beliefs, it's you exercising caution. You are still, the mutant beneath the mask and an X-Man. No one will forget that. Especially our students."
"Oh, no…" Hank answers readily. "I don't think that it changes who I am. I still see myself as the pale, geeky scientist…it's almost always a shock when I look in the mirror still," there's a wry sort of smile there. It doesn't last too long, "Kurt will be disappointed, but I understand what you mean. It becomes a sort of…secret identity. I suppose looking at it that way doesn't seem as concerning." The non-blue and hairy form is the disguise rather than the other way around.

"Kurt is quite understanding." Charles remarks. "That is a good way to look at it as well, it's not only protecting you, which, we know full well you can handle yourself, but it is protecting the rest of us here as well. Which, should be a primary concern. But I do not wish you to stop being able to live and enjoy yourself. I wish the cave dwelling lifestyle on no one."

Beast straightens slowly, "Kurt will also deal just fine. He has a different perspective, I think…" since he's been that way since birth. He gives a nod then, "I don't feel that it's a cave-dwelling lifestyle, but thank you. I wasn't sure the best way to handle this and now…thank you, Charles." He gives a bit of a smile to his friend, "I guess I have some work to do now…" in making sure the serum is safe and does what it needs to do.

"Of course, Hank. You know where to find me if you need me. Several more ponds and then I'm headed to my study… " Charles pauses and looks at Beast, "The Friends of Humanity… they're getting more violent. More active. We'll need to hold a meeting with the rest of the X-Men soon. Be careful if you do go out." Quietly the Professor makes his way down the paved garden walkway.

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