Best Coffee in Westchester

January 04, 2016:

Scott comes down to visit Hank for the best coffee around - and to discuss a few things.

Hank'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…

There's only one more day of blissful rest to be had before classes return to session, those children that are gifted with caring and nurturing parents that accept their mutations return and mingle with those that were rejected, and everyone is back to Ps and Qs as the new semester kicks off. Many children are outside taking in the first dusting of snow of the new year, playing and laughing. Inside, however, is a different story. Teachers are gathering last minute lesson plans, preparing their rooms, and getting ready to start fresh in the morning..

..most of them, that is.

For Scott Summers, he has not even touched his classroom yet. Dusted off the books. Planned lessons. Or even thought about what he's going to wear tomorrow. Showing up at Hank's lab, frankly, he looks beat. The bruising on his right jaw has blossomed and spread, giving the look of a virus that has erupted across his skin. He's dressed in a standard set of warm ups, the hoodie pulled tight as he brings his tired and haggard body into the lab. "I was told the best coffee on campus was here." he offers in greetings. "If not the strongest." A 'World's Greatest Dad' mug dangles from his fingers. A joke gift from Rachel.

Dr. Hank McCoy's classroom has been prepped for the last week. It helps when one is 'ahead of the game', so to speak, and isn't getting involved in cosmopolitan hijinks like other members of the

Dr. Hank McCoy's classroom has been prepped for the last week. It helps when one is 'ahead of the game', so to speak, and isn't getting involved in cosmopolitan hijinks like other members of the X-Men. He's focused on teaching and it means that prep is key.

Even as the kids are enjoying their last day of 'freedom', he's in his lab, going over lesson plans and poking at his own experiments when Scott shows up. He was able to scent him even before he stepped through the door, so it's not a surprise when he comes searching for coffee. In fact, the smell of the freshly-brewed drink lingers in the air.

Without even looking up, Hank gestures to the kitchenette, "That's because I still get the beans and grind them myself. None of this One-Cup crap for me, thanks." It's then that he looks up and blinks behind his glasses, "You look terrible."

"I feel terrible. Thank you for the astute observation." Scott says as he starts to amble slowly towards the kitchenette. "Jean had warned me of her infamous inability to sleep, but I didn't think I'd actually come face to face with it. It's.. pretty bad." he admits as he pours a mug, straight black, no flavouring. As he takes a long draw from it, his eyes close behind the glasses and he ah's audibly before he returns to the main area of the lab. "Thank you." he manages, a tone of gratefulness there. "Unless you mean the bruise. I went bar-hopping with Logan." is offered matter-of-factly.

"Couple of things to talk about, though. The first is Jean, since she's already on the table, as it were. It's getting worse. She's having some pretty powerful waking nightmares, the insomnia is forcing her into obsessive and compulsive behaviors, and while it may bother me, I know it's completely eating at her." he admits with a sigh, his expression dropping into a concerned frown with a dip of his head as he takes another drink of the coffee.

Beast watches Scott as he explains his lack of sleep and his bruise, "And everyone wonders why I don't go out to bars…" is offered rhetorically before he glances back to what he was doing. It can wait.

As Jean is discussed, his expression grows more concerned, "I'm not a psychiatrist, Scott…and even if I was, I doubt any sleep aids would help. She'd probably burn through them too quickly…but lack of sleep is incredibly dangerous, especially for someone like her. Has she -seen- any sort of therapist or talked about what happened? I mean, I'm guessing it somehow relates to the brainwashing she went through recently and frankly, I don't blame her. It could be a form of PTSD…even if she doesn't talk to you about it, she should talk to -someone-. The Professor, maybe?"

Scott takes another draw from his mug and sighs. "She's talking to the Professor, I'm sure. Even without them, you know, 'talking'." the air quotes are totally audible. "I'm trying to help by taking some of the load off of her shoulders." he admits as he takes a seat on a nearby chair, settling on the edge of it. "It's my responsibility. She's had to shoulder the burden of the school and the team since…" Well, since his misadventures with Rachel. "…I'm trying to help take some of the field work off of her shoulders, but she knows her strong suits. One of those is contacts with different groups. She's made contact with the Aletians and asked Emma to help with negotiations with them. I'm coming to talk to you about something different."

He drinks yet another gulp from the coffee, tearing through the stuff with abandon. Even Hank's stash may not even stand a chance against Scott's need for caffeine. "I had a meeting with Hawkeye and Captain America. Your name was brought up as a possible help with tracking and neutralizing the Sentinels that attacked the Hall of Justice. I was wondering if I could put in for you to meet with Hawkeye and the Council and see what help you may be able to offer. I know it's not the grand step of ambassador.." he waves a hand off his mug in a grand gesture emulating a bow, as he heads to top off his mug. "But in light of the troubles that we have had with them in the past, it would help to have a close tie and work with them."

Beast can always get more coffee…that's the easy part. He's certainly not going to deny Scott access to it. A nod is given when Scott mentions that Jean and the Professor are talking, "I'm sure that if anyone can help, it'll be Charles. If I can do anything, you know I will…" although he's not really the one to be in charge of the team. Tried that once…it didn't work very well.

Bushy eyebrows lift as the 'something different' is brought up, "What 'Council'? I've worked with Captain America…I'm not entirely sure he's fond of me," but he gives a shrug as if that really doesn't matter. "I'm surprised I was brought up. SHIELD has their own techies, don't they?" He doesn't really wait for the question to be answered though, "You know I'll help as much as I can, Scott. But…what Council is this?"

With a fresh mug, Scott returns to his seat, though he's a little slower to drink from it in this case. "The council is what heads up the JLA." he starts in way of explanation. "They're the ones that decide what they're doing, all that stuff. Right now, from what I gathered, it is Hawkeye, the female one, that's in charge for the most part. There's Princess Diana and Hawkgirl as well. And Captain America has left the JLA, so I don't think there will be any conflict there." That actually draws a frown from Scott, but the bespectacled man doesn't address it.

"And they do, but SHIELD doesn't really work with the JLA as much anymore, from what I gathered. The Orleans fiasco may have splintered them far more than we thought." he finds himself admitting as he finally takes a drink, blowing on the mug to cool the coffee first. "They're having to outsource science help. Even mentioned using the older Stark, what's his name.. Howard?" he asks. "Or Doctor Richards, as it sounds like they're having troubles too. That's a hell of a group to be working with, Hank." he points out.

There's a bit of obvious relief when the Council is explained. "Here I was thinking that it was some sort of political thing." There's a brief grin before he adjusts his position on the lab stool that he's perched on. "You're right…that is a 'hell of a group to be working with'," he repeats, "And I'm willing to help. I suppose if anyone is going to understand about keeping identities a secret it would be the JLA…" he would have thought SHIELD would be good about it, but…never trust a Government Agency, it seems. "I suppose you'll need to give them credentials and all of that. Do I need to write up a CV?" He's sort of joking.

"Isn't Howard Stark long dead?"

Scott laughs. "He is.. but.." he shakes his head. "It's complicated." the young man sighs. "Robots or somesuch." As if that explains everything. "And no, I think your work speaks for more than itself, Hank. I'll let Hawkeye know you're interested, she'll be happy to speak with you if you have any concerns, she understands how things are over there far better than I do." he admits as he rubs the back of his head and then sighs.

"You sure there's not anything you can offer for Jean?" he circles around to it. "She needs a good night's sleep, even if it comes from a pill. I'm worried about her, Hank. And I get what you're saying, and you're the doctor, but I at least have to ask."

Blue eyebrows arch again, "Robots…" is echoed before he shakes his head. "My work or Beast's work?" is asked before he nods in regards to meeting with Hawkeye, "And likewise. If she has questions for me, I'm happy to meet with her as well." Not here at the Institute, of course.

As for Jean, any humor flees and he gives a sigh, "I can't write prescriptions, Scott…and even if I could, all the stuff that's on the market could exascerbate her nightmares and vivid dreams. Besides, do you really want to be giving her sleeping pills?" He then scrubs a clawed hand through his hair, "You could try some herbal supplements…but I don't know of anything that will shut down her subconscious. We could get her to sleep, but we can't prevent the dreams."

"I think it was Mister Stark's own work.. I'm sure it will be an intriguing conversation." Scott says as he listens to the response from Beast in regards to Jean. "I understand. It's just.. frustrating. I can't do anything for her and it's.." he lets out a sigh. "It's frustrating. She's shouldered so much and it's own me."

Scott closes his eyes, head lowering before he takes a drink from his mug. "Maybe I can convince her to see a doctor." Yeah, that'll be a fun conversation. "Anyway, I should go get my classroom set up. With your permission, I'll give Hawkeye your contact information and you can set up a meeting with her on your terms. Sound fair?" Away from the Institute, he agrees with that.

"You -can- do something, Scott. You can convince her that you're going to stick around and shoulder your responsibility. You can hold her and tell her that it's ok, that you're not mad at her or afraid of her and that she's safe. You can give her a massage, watch a silly movie with her, take her to a nice dinner…something relaxing and intimate that's only the two of you. That's probably going to help more than any pill her herbal supplement."

Not that Hank has all that much experience with that sort of thing, but…

"Do your best to let her understand that it's ok for her to sleep and let go."

"I'm already doing all that, Hank!" Scott's frustration and lack of sleep finally bubble to the surface in the form of an angry outburst as he cups his hands around the mug tightly. "And it's not doing anything! I'm with her every chance that I get and short of driving her completely out of energy, she just keeps going. She's scared of losing control, or what happened while I was away happening again, and there's not a damned thing I can do about it!" he stares at the mug for a second, at the wording on it, and then suddenly he throws it hard, shattering it against a far wall and spilling coffee about. "World's Greatest Dad, my ass! I let Rachel endanger us all, and then I kept her away so that Jean wouldn't have to worry about the government crashing this place looking for her and I just made it worse!"

He stands up, fists gripped tightly as he draws in a few angry breaths, his whole frame shaking with barely restrained rage brought to bear upon the person that deserves it the most.. himself.

Beast gives a start at the sudden outburst, but he waits for a pause before actually getting out of his seat. He looks at the broken mug for a moment before he fetches a new mug of coffee and holds it out to Scott. "Fear is a hard thing to get rid of. Most of us just push it down and down while it grows and grows and we finally explode." Sort of like what Scott just did…what Jean is afraid to do. "I'd say to use the Danger Room for her to let all of her fear out in, but honestly…I'm not sure even it could contain her."

He finally reaches out to give Scott's shoulder a brief pat, "Rachel was your child…even if you didn't raise her here, she was your's. No one can fault you for protecting your own child. You did what you needed to do then and…you can't fix Jean. Only Jean can fix Jean. If you want, we can try some sort of intervention…maybe she'll see that what she's doing to herself is affecting more than just her."

He's trying to stay calm in the face of Scott's own self-anger. After all, that seems to be a good part of his job of late.

Scott winces a bit. Apparently Hank hasn't seen the Danger Room since he and Jean had a rather.. raucous.. New Year celebration in it. And it's probably best they destroyed all the cameras first. He closes his eyes for a moment, drawing in several breaths to try to bring his roiling emotions into check, but waves off the fresh cup, relaxing marginally on the touch to his shoulder. "Let me clean that up." he offers as he moves to the kitchnette to gather a rag and trash can to start to clean the pieces of the cup off the floor. "I'm sorry, Hank. I just feel.. helpless to aid her. I'm doing everything I can, and I'm overwhelmed. But I'm not leaving her again. I won't let that happen again." he promises. "I saw what happened when I put something other than the school and her first.. and it won't be repeated." he intones.

Beast also moves to get a dustpan and a broom, "I'm not the best person to be offering relationship advice. Far from it, in fact. But it seems to me that if you only focus on her and her needs, then you're going to burn yourself out pretty quickly…or worse. I mean, take anything I say about it with a grain of salt, but I understand you putting energy into trying to heal her now but if you neglect yourself as well, what good will you be to her before long? You need to sleep too."

There's a pause before he offers, "Let me take your classes for a couple of days while you rest up. It'll do you both good."

"You have bigger things to do. The Purifiers aren't going to stop just because I'm tired." Scott finishes cleaning up the mess as he moves to his feet and offers a thin smile. "Don't worry, she lets me sleep." When he's able. Giving Hank's shoulder a firm grip before letting go. "I'll be able to handle my classes. I'll just have them right essays. I'll get Hawkeye your contact information." he offers as he moves towards the door. "Thanks for your help, Hank. I appreciate it."

"I have discussions right now. If I need you to take the classes back, I'll let you know," Hank isn't going to let him shoulder this extra thing. "If they're writing essays then I can sit and oversee that just as well as you can. I insist, Scott." He even lets his voice get firm on that. "Even if I'm meeting with Hawkeye and the Council of the JLA, I can handle a couple of classes for a few days. I'll even take Jean's if she'll let me…you two go off somewhere on a mini-vacation, maybe. Somewhere warm. Aruba."

Scott offers a wave of his hand. "Get to work, Hank, we have a lot to do." he calls out before he steps into the hallway.

Vacation discussions will need to wait for now.

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