Bonnets for Everyone!

December 23, 2015:

Scott Summers returns to the Institute after helping Rachel relocate, and comes bearing gifts and suggestions.

Hack McCoy's Lab

Dr. McCoy's lab in the Headquarters is a combination of bedroom and lab.
The door opens into the lab space which is rather large, with equipment and
shelves lining the perimeter. Basically, almost any lab equipment that
seemes feasible to have, he has in this room, including refrigeration and
freezing units, incubation units, a Mass Spectrometer, a centrifuge,
microscopes, a soldering iron, and a couple of different computers and
printers. There are a couple of work tables as well as a desk or two. Decor
isn't important in this area as it's about work.

An inner door leads to an actual bedroom and en suite bathroom. The space is
more than just his work space, but it's also his living space. The bedroom
is also fairly simple in that it's sparsely decorated and has a bed,
dresser, bedside table, lamp, armchair, and bookshelf. The bathroom is also
basic and utilitarian. There are a few picture frames on the bookshelf among
the books and a couple of pictures on the wall, giving it more of a lived-in
feel than not.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Jean_Grey

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

While he hasn't really been part of any X-Men missions, Hank has helped a bit here and there as needed. Most of the time, however, he's been busy with classes and his own projects, whatever they may be. No one's asked, so he hasn't really elaborated.

As classes have ended for the holidays, he's settled himself at one of the desks in his lab to do some grading. His glasses are on and there is a mug of hot tea in front of him as he reads through semester finals and idly twirls a red pen through his fingers. Every now and then, the twirling pauses so he can write in a correct answer or comment.

Scott's been away. While not a sabbatical, it has been a noticable abscence, while he's been helping with a relocation overseas. Having arrived back home a couple of nights ago, he spent most of the day sleeping off the jetlag before he starts making the rounds to catch up on things. After hearing about Hank holing himself up in the labs, it is a concerned Scott that makes his way down the labratory home of the blue haired scientist.

With a polite rap at the door, and a clearing of his throat, Scott announces his presence, "Hello, Hank. Busy?" he asks, holding up a pair of boxes. "I bear holiday tidings from Muir Island."

Doing a visit to the mansion for the holidays was always a bittersweet moment. The feeling of the place not being quite the same, a bit smaller than memories would tell you, compared to the warmth of yesteryear.

Pausing on his way to dropping off presents at the tree, Doug slows down as he sees an open door, with a familiar figure standing there.

"Merry Christmas, Mr. Su—- Scott!" he calls out, approaching, and nodding through the door. "Hi, Hank…! Working late?"

Beast looks up just a moment before the knock on the door and glances over, "Welcome back, Scott!" Bushy eyebrows lift and there's a bit of a smile, "You went all the way to Muir Island for gifts this year? Going above and beyond, huh?"

As Doug also appears and offers his greeting, he gives a nod, "Doug, Happy Holidays to you as well." Ignoring the question about 'working late', he gestures to the two, inviting them inside, "I think the water should still be hot if you want some tea or cocoa or something."

Such an exciting life he leads. Now he just needs a dozen cats.

"Doug," Scott offers a sincere, if short smile. "Decided to drop in on us geezers?" he asks in amusement. "I figured that Red would have you completely busy at this time of year with all the social work and everything." The tall teachers offers a grin at that as he chuckles at Hank's retort. "No no, I was just there. Rachel and all…" It was best to have her overseas and out of sight of the government for a while - and probably even better that Scott put in a little distance himself for now.

Setting down the bags on the desk near Hank so he can open them, Scott gets a bit of a concerned look as he takes a seat. "I heard that you've pretty much been down here since the break started. Is there something that you need help with?" he asks not as a leader or anything, but as a friend. "You know, I'm not the greatest about social things, but if you ever need to talk or anything.." he offers.

The bags bear gifts that Scott probably had help finding. The first one is a manicuring and hair care kit along with a bonnet in blue from some Scottish tourist shop. He probably picked that one out himself. The other contains a block of carbon aerogel, ripe for using in conductive energy testing. That one he probably had help with.

"Oh, it's not that bad," Doug notes as he leans in. "Though I don't know if Kitty's really qualified to be called a geezer."

Looking back at Hank, Doug tilts his head. "Hot chocolate's good, I think. Uh, help…?" Doug tilts his head, remaining at the doorway as Scott makes his way in. Mostly, he supposes, the older X-Men were still held in some reverence, so Doug was mindful of -that- legacy, and that they shared a bond that most others wouldn't. "If you need, like, some kind of grader…"? He could do it in a pinch.

"Already looking to take my job too, huh?" Beast muses at Doug even as he goes to get a mug of cocoa. It's still the mix-in stuff, but it's high-quality mix-in stuff. The mug is brought back and handed over before he looks into the bags. The hair and manicure kit gets a wry sort of smirk and the tam is immediately put on. The carbon aerogel is scrutinized for a moment with a grin, "Thanks, Scott. Much appreciated. Your gift is under the tree, of course."

Who is he to break with tradition?

As for staying in his lab since break began, he shrugs, "Nothing to really talk about, why? Is there concern that I'm mouldering or avoiding people or something? I was recently out on a mission, you know…" earlier in the month, that is.

Beast adds, "Scott, did you want anything?"

"I'm good, thank you, Hank. I had some coffee earlier." Scott responds as he glances towards Doug. "I don't know, Kitty has an old soul sometimes. And it's not that you haven't been on a mission." he points out as he takes a seat. "It's more that you haven't been out and about as much, from what I understand?"

Then he turns his attention back to Doug. "I've been keeping up on the information that Brinley's been providing. It was the news of the attack on the Hall of Justice that spurned me to cut my break short and return home." he admits as he glances down at his hands, studying them before he returns his attention to Doug. "How bad has it been?" he finally asks. "Between the Reavers and Purifiers - I recall seeing something saying that they had stole parts for Sentinels. Has there been any response from the government on the involvement of their.." a momentary look of anger and frustration cross over Scott's features before he calms down. "…machines.. in the recent attack."

"A geezer," mutters Doug. "I don't know if she wants to actually be compared -that- way to you guys, no offense, sirs. She's just Kitty. Speaking of which, I should find her, give her her… 'not Christmas' present."

Of course, life being what it was, Kitty was probably standing right there next to him, wasn't she?

"

No, Kitty is not standing right behind Doug. Instead, "Who's a geezer?" Kitty asks, head poking through the laboratory cieling. Her ears must have been burning. She looks semi-accusingly at Hank, Scott and Doug with a raised eyebrow. She knows something is being talked about and it involves her. Stepping through the tree so that she can be solid again, the woman crosses her arms. "I better not be the geezer in this scenario."

"Dammit, Kitty!" Scott almost falls on his ass when Kitty comes bursting through the cieling just as he was taking a seat. With a sigh, he recovers and smirks. "Well, Hank and I are, I think Doug was just lumping you in, old timer." he comments with a slight smirk. "And I have a not Christmas gift for you, just something I picked up while I was in Scotland." Probably a bonnet similar to the one Hank's currently wearing. What? They were on sale. He probably got Jean one too.

Maybe.

"If this is about going to bars or Mutant-friendly nightclubs again, I'd really rather not have that circuitous conversation again." Hank's already made his displeasure known for that sort of socializing. "I'm not entirely sure what you're expecting me to do. I don't have a voice for caroling and I think that a hairy, blue Santa would be off-putting." He's trying to remain blase even though he's bracing for what he thinks might be coming.

When talk goes to X-Red business, he turns back to his tea and his papers, as if he knows he's not a part of that particular conversation. When Kitty pops in, there's a brief frown even though his eyes are still on the paper, "I'd appreciate a warning before you choose to pop in, Ms. Pryde…if you don't mind."

He can't really scent when someone is going to be popping in from another part of the building. It's frustrating at times.

"That's not what I was thinking, Hank." Scott finally folds his hands into his lap, and his whole demeanor changes. Where he had been casual just a moment ago, he becomes more formal with his friend, knowing that the best way to handle the subject is straight up the middle. "We don't have a voice. Mutants are attacked by Sentinels, Reavers and Purifiers, and while the Justice League gets noticed, if a mutant speaks, it barely makes page six. And that's on a slow week."

"The government has remained mum on how their technology has ended up in their hands, and we need someone that will be noticed - that draws attention, holds it and refuses to let it go. I can't speak on our behalf; I'm not more than a collaborator are best and a terrorist at worst, in the eyes of the public. There needs to be someone that can speak eloquently, genuinely, someone that is more than a sound box - but can hold his own in the depths of politics and science alike. Hank, you're one of the most well-respected people I know. The socializing I mean is not at a bar in town. It's in front of the General Assembly at the United Nations. Or at least on camera, locally."

Doug Ramsey says, “I have -nothing- to do with this geezer business," Doug objects, holding his hands up. "That's all on you."

Putting down his bag of stuff, he fishes out a present for Kitty, and holds it out. "Here, have a merry non-Christmas day."

Eyeing the clock, Doug waves a hand. "And… I've got to run. Got to do an social event for the homeless."

"Ms. Pryde?" Kitty raises an eyebrow at Hank. "You know you can call me Kitty." That startles her a little and her arms stay crossed. "I was just following the burning ears. I can go. Didn't mean to interrupt." As the present is given to her, she blinks and takes it from Doug. "Oh! Thank you. I still have yours upstairs. I was waiting for Christmas to give it to you." Because, really, why not.

She moves to follow Doug out of the room, fearing she's already put her foot in her mouth when she listens to Scott's suggestion to Hank. Her head tilts just slightly, curiously gauging furry scientist's reaction to it. Her steps slow.

"You don't need to leave…there's hot water and tea and cocoa if you'd like some," Hank tilts his head towards his little kitchenette. He then gestures to Doug even as he departs, "Mutants are doing good things, Scott…we're not going to be seen as anything other than monsters by the public, because they fear us. Maybe if we all wore tights and a cape, but when you have people who look other-than-human, we're not going to get a voice like that…" he starts before golden eyes just blink at the other. "Are you serious? I mean, I'm flattered that you think of me that way, but I am -not- the best person to be the face of mutants. You need someone who doesn't -look- like a mutant or someone who can brush off the insults and such…like Kurt."

There's a pause before he shakes his head, "You put me on camera like that, and no one will listen. They'll only see the outside. People don't look past that, even now." Even though he has his serum and -could- look normal if he needed to…but that defeats part of the point.

"We're seen as monsters because that's what we put out to the world.." Scott has room to talk on this, in light of what his own time-displaced flesh and blood did. Glancing down at his hands, he lets out a breath, waving to Doug and Kitty as they depart. As Kitty slows, he notices, and gives her a subtle smile of support to let her know its okay if she stays. "Hank, we've been friends since before I could remember - and I wouldn't leave you to the wolves like that. Ever." he promises with a small frown as he lifts his head up.

"Perhaps you're right. It is how we're percieved. But until we start changing perceptions, that is going to be our reality. X-Red is making the first grand steps. While I may not agree with their total transparency, it does not mean that I don't support their cause and beliefs. And perhaps, we should consider a gesture to prove that. If not with you, that is fine - but if there's someone I know that could fluster politicians and disarm even the staunchest and vilest of voices.. Hank, it's always been you. Bobby may be a screwball and a nerd, but he's never going to have your tact and poise. None of us will. I'm not asking you to say yes.. or no.. right now. Just consider it, my friend. It's all I can ask of you."

There's a moment as Hank takes in what Scott is saying. He glances over to Kitty briefly before pointing out, "I'd have to leave the Institute if I did that. I don't see how that could be avoided. I've been seen with the X-Men and, except for SHIELD, I've been trying to keep my identity a secret. If it comes out that Dr. Hank McCoy is a mutant, I could be tracked down to here and that could endanger the secrecy of the school. If you can think of another way around that, I'd be interested to hear it."

He hasn't said 'no' yet.

"I think there is a time that is coming that hiding in the shadows will no longer be an option. This is still Jean's team. I'm not going to even think about trying to throw you out or the like. You're family and you always will be. But I can't think of anyone better to carry the standard than you." Scott says quietly, honestly as he stands up to place a hand on Hank's shoulder. "This is not a now thing. This is preparing for the future. Xavier wants us to coexist, and we will not be able to do that by hiding. And all hiding did was…" Well, there's no reason to get into that, as Scott shakes his head in remorse. He doesn't regret that he stood by Rachel's side, but he knows the toll it took on his friends.

"Just think it over now, will you?" he asks again before he starts to the door and gives Kitty a smile. "In the meantime, if I don't see Jean before Christmas, she will probably leave me fit to be tied." Literally. "And.. well, I have something special to give her for Christmas." There's just a flash of what could be a ring box. Maybe something else, before he's heading out of the lab and back down the hallway.

"I'm not sure hiding is the best for us either, but I also don't want these kids attacked for who they are." The adults have been trained and can fight back, but the kids? They're still learning how to deal with the gifts they've been given. "I'll think about it." And he will. Hank may not do much -besides- think about it. It's both terrifying and hopeful at once.

"Good luck with Jean, Scott," he starts but then gives a curious look at the flash of the ring-box. There's a brief chuckle before he murmurs something that sounds a lot like 'You're going to need it'.

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