Balancing School and Play

February 09, 2016:

Peter comes to speak with Scott about joining Captain America's team and gets advised on his options.

Jean Grey's Office - Xavier's

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Charles Xavier, Captain America, Lux

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

After he got back from Mexico, Peter wandered M-Town a bit to think. When he got back to the Institute, he left a message for Scott letting him know he wanted to talk to him. They arranged a time the next morning and Peter raps on the door frame when he arrives.

"Come in." Scott's voice comes from behind the door. Once Peter enters, he'll find Scott at Jean's desk, working on some files, a slightly determined look on his face. Closing the files with the arrival of Peter, he offers a ghost of a smile - and with the glasses, there's no way to tell if it touches his eyes. He's had a lot going on lately, and it's weighing on him. "Take a seat. Coffee?"

Pushing the door closed behind him, Peter takes a seat in front of the desk. "Yeah, sure." He glances around then asks curiously "You don't have your own office?"

"This was my office." Scott gives a little laugh at that. "Some things happened though and I had to step down from running the school. So it's Jean's office now, and I use it when I don't need to be in my classroom. Since the two of us live together, it's an amicable and practical thing." After an absent shrug of his shoulders, he goes to take out one of the pods to pop into the coffee maker for Peter. "You asked to speak with me. What's on your mind?" he asks as he pushes the buttons to get the little machine to start to perculating.

Peter nods at the explanation and looks back to Scott. "What am I doing here?" he asks the man. "I mean, I want to get my degree. And I know you help people learn to use their powers better. And you say there's no strings attached." Which he believes Scott believes but isn't so sure anyway because Harada. "But what do you want from me?"

"What do I want from you?" Scott feels that pinch on his sinuses, without physically reaching up to pinch his nose thoughtfully. "Peter, there is nothing I want excpet to make sure that you don't go out into the world and get killed because someone sees you as a threat, or just because you happen to be different from them." he finally says with a sigh. "I know we've had this talk before, and I'm not sure how I can rehash it best. I want from you to learn to control your abilities so you don't have to take those pills in your pocket. I want you to not have to worry that Harada is coming to collect you and cover it up by saying you're a danger to everyone around you because you proved him right. If you want to be a member of the Institute and the X-Men, that's your choice, but I'm not expecting either from you. It's your decision to make. If you don't feel this is for you, you can always walk out the door, and I won't hold it against you. I was offered the same chance and choice when I first came here. Did I tell you about that?" he inquires.

He doesn't quite look dubious but Peter's not exactly open to the whole complete altruism thing either. At the question, he shakes his head and waits for the story.

"I was only sixteen when I first learned about the Institute. For most of my life, I was an orphan in Omaha, Nebraska. I had come to New York on a field trip with my class." Soctt sighs a little as he looks down. "I was plagued by terrible headaches from an injury when I was a child and had always had migraines, but didn't know why. As our class was walking towards the subway to take us to the ferry for Ellis Island, I got a headache I didn't think I'd ever had before. It really really hurt. And the next thing I knew, I was firing these uncontrollable lasers like some freak from Star Wars that I couldn't control. I ripped a crane from it's moorings and while I destroyed the crane completely, parts of it still killed six people." he looks up to Peter through his ruby glasses.

"That's when the mob started to form." he says quietly as if he's remembered the day as if it happened yesterday.

Peter just nods at the story, waiting for him to finish. But something about his body language has changed. Maybe he's a little less wary, slightly more relaxed.

"I was pretty sure I was dead. And what was worse, if I opened my eyes, the beams would come forth again. That's when there was a voice in my head. And he told me to run. So I did. As I did, he gave me directions, telling me where to turn, which direction to go. Eventually I made my way to a taxi and gave them an address. The address to here." Scott says with a sigh. "Professor Xavier was waiting for me outside on the front porch, with a pair of glasses to keep my eyes covered. He was the first one to tell me who and what I was. But I asked him the same question. My first use of my powers - even accidental, had caused nothing but destruction and death - how could I be of any use as anything other than a weapon." he gets a slight smirk. "And the Professor shared his dream with me. I was dubious, as well. I had seen the look on their faces. I didn't think there would ever be a day.. but eventually, I learned. There won't be a dream if we can't work for it. And anything worth having is worth working and fighting for."

Peter doesn't even have to try to hear the thoughts of those around him so he knows what Scott said is true and those things he didn't say but was thinking loudly enough to be heard. When it's over, he glances down. "I was born with my powers." he says after a moment. "My parents learned to cope though it wasn't easy on them. Do you know my father was a psiot too? A mutant. Except he didn't have any powers. They were inactive. Latent, you call it." He's made use of the library. "I could feel it in him though. When I was eleven, I tried to activate them. It didn't work and I put him in a coma. That week my mother put me in an institution." And he hasn't seen her since.

"Alex.. that's my brother.. when we were young, my father and mother took us up in his plane. It suffered a mechanical failure - and there was only one parachute on-board. Our mother put Alex and I in that parachute and pushed us out. They didn't survive." Oh if only Scott knew the truth, but he doesn't yet. "We were seperated because my head was injured on the way down because I was in a coma as well." he says with a small shake of his head. "Assuming that Alex and I both have powers, we can only assume mom or dad did, but we were never sure of which one since we don't remember them."

"Do you want to?" Peter asks, looking back to Scott. "I can probably find the memories and bring them forward for you." In some things, he's very untrained. In others, usually through trial and error against enemies, he's learned on his own.

"No." Scott shakes his head, he's adamant about that. "They'll come when they're ready, and I'm not one for having just anyone muck about in my head. Jean does sometimes, but she knows to keep it mainly to herself." he shrugs his shoulders. "Some mysteries will make themselves known when they're ready. Anyway, this isn't really about me, this is about what you want. So how can I help you with your decision outside of what I've already offered which is transparency and the chance to decide for yourself?"

"I was in Mexico a couple days ago." Peter states in an apparent non-sequitur. "I kinda got mixed up in something. Wrong place, wrong time I guess. I was just there when it went down." The specifics aren't really important and probably top secret anyway, though no one actually said so. "But leading it was Captain America. Audrey was there too. And the Hulk." Almost certainly others Scott knows or knows of but Peter doesn't. "They didn't have a telepath so I helped him out, questioning this guy. He seems to want me to help out on a regular basis. I don't know how that would work with me being here or if it would break any rules or anything." He's a guest here, after all. He's only going to break those rules that he needs to.

"Cap's a good guy. The government came down hard on him after the President's death in Orleans." Scott says thoughtfully. "And he helped me with my problems with mine and Jean's daughter a few months back. I can understand the draw of working with him, and as you already know, we're telepath heavy around here. But. This isn't really an either or thing. You won't be the first of us that serves both in the X-Men and something else. Lunair, for instance, is also in the Justice League Initiative. If you want to join Captain America's team, we could always use a liaison to them so that we have open lines of communication, if you want to consider the idea, Peter. But we're not going to force you out of here because you don't want to be an X-Men. That's counterproductive to what we want to do."

"I didn't say I didn't." Peter answers with a shrug. "But no one's talked about them. The time I asked, Betsy just said not to worry about it. So I haven't. I'm not sure if I want to accept his offer or not but…" It's Captain Fucking America. Even living on the run, he's heard of him. "I didn't know if it would be okay to do that and study here too. I appreciate what you're doing and don't want it to look like I don't."

Scott sighs, letting out a slow breath. "Betsy and the Captain had a very brief thing that might be coloring her opinion." Folding his hands in front of him, he gives a slight smirk. "She claims to be the pardigam of calm, but at times, her heart is very much on her sleeve when it comes to some things. Did you feel comfortable with them? I couldn't blame you on that. Here, we're more like a family, but they're more like a team. You don't have to worry about the kids with them. Or the school. Or the secrets. You can do what you need to do to make a difference. It's an alluring draw."

There's a small chuckle. "Lord knows, the thought used to cross my mind, but my place is here - with Jean. The school, and the dream. And there's not anything that is going to change that. But you get to have your future opened to you and taste true freedom. My suggestion is to have your cake and eat it too. Work with Captain America and his team - and continue here. I can talk to Steve, let him know that we could use you as a liasion between our two groups, if you're amicable to the idea. If not, Audrey used to be X-Red, I can talk to her as well. But this is your life, you need to decide how you want to live it."

"Well, I don't think the kind of thing he plans on doing is going to be public so I don't think Harada will be able to find me that way and more than he will with you." Peter muses. "I suppose I should talk to him more about it to make sure. But yeah, I think I might give it a shot so long as it won't be a problem with being here too. That's what I wanted to make sure of."

"Considering how the government threatened to come down on him, I don't blame him for keeping it to himself." Scott responds as he turns his attention from the files back to Peter. "But no, as long as you want to be here, you can juggle both - and if you find yourself at issue, don't hide it, is all I ask. Please talk to me. Or Jean. Or someone. We're rather open, I promise. Is there anything else I can help you with?"

Shaking his head, Peter stands up. "No, you told me what I wanted to know. I think I'll get a message to Audrey to get a message to him. Nothing says I have to keep doing it if it doesn't work out." Hopefully, probably, ending things won't involve them trying to kill each other. "You do know you can ask me to help out too, right? Cause I will."

"I know, Peter. And I will, when the time comes. Things are pretty quiet around here right now, to be honest." Nothing that Scott can't think he can handle. "But thank you, I really do appreciate it." he says with sincerity.. "Crap!" he laughs, rising to his feet as he remembers the coffee maker finally and brings Peter his coffee at the end of the meeting. "Though I'm a terrible host, I fear."

Peter looks puzzled at first but then smiles as he catches the thought. "Don't worry about it. You have it; you're going to need it more doing paperwork. I'll talk to you later."

Setting the coffee on the table, Scott nods, a look of chagrin touching his lips. "Of course. Have a good day, Peter. And good luck with Cap's team." he offers with sincerity, hopeful that Peter finally finds what he needs to balance himself.

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