Grind you to dust

March 10, 2016:

Gabriel is given an orientation by Betsy and Emma.

Xavier's Institute

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Jean Grey

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's not hard to find a modicum of privacy at Xavier's despite all the students running pell-mell and the many visitors who swing by. In a room that must have been a study at one point, several chairs have been dragged to the points of a triangle, facing one another.

In one of the chairs, Betsy sits, wearing a loose, flowing t-shirt that hangs from her shoulders along with a pair of jeans that probably cost more than a car payment. Hands folded neatly atop her crossed leg, she regards Gabriel across from her with an unreadable scrutiny.

"Thank you for meeting us, Gabriel," Betsy says, once everyone's settled in place. "Jean and I have been discussing your situation for a few days now and we've agreed that you are in need of some very specific instruction regarding your talents. You know Emma Frost, I'm sure" she says, nodding sideways at the exquisite blonde "and her reputation. I intend to set a stage here for you to go forward and gain both better control of your powers and your integration into the culture here at school."

Seated at another point in the triangle of chairs, Emma Grace Frost is not wearing anything so potentially plebian as jeans or a t-shirt. She is instead wearing one of what must be dozens of stark white women's business suits from her wardrobe, likely costing enough for a few car payments. The tall, curvaceous platinum blonde sits with the kind of natural grace and studied regal stoicism that harkens from a bygone era. She watches. She listens. And she says, at first, nothing at all, merely watching over Gabriel and the interplay around him in response to Elizabeth's words.

Gabriel looks across at Besty, the young man being respectful enough to having removed the cowboy hat to rest it upon his lap. His clothing is worn, tattered in fact especially his jeans which have seen better days and the shirt he's wearing has a few holes on it. But he looks attentive and despite his wardrobe he is relatively well kept.

"I apologize." He offers, his accent a bit thick and unusual. "I do not have any sort of knowledge of Emma Frost." He looks at the blond woman and inclines his head politely, "If I should have knowledge, please let me know. As I am certain Miss Jean informed you my memory is not very… well I have no memories."

"Mhm."

Betsy's eyebrow tics up when Gabriel says he's not heard of Emma. The statuesque blonde is hard to miss. "There are two essential issues at hand, Gabriel. One, you need to be brought up to speed on current events. There is much of which you've— through no fault— not been educated on. Etiquette, social decorum, modern history. My intention is to help you start to integrate into modern society, with the end goal that you become a comfortable and well-adapted member of the modern world."

In truth, Emma is not at all used to not being known the moment she meets someone. She's bloody famous, after all, and so gorgeous that she sticks out in the mind, incredibly difficult to forget. But apparently it is possible not to know of her. She'll do her level best not to be insulted. "Then allow me to explain. I am a telepath, and a businesswoman. I help, here at the Institute. One of my specialties is deep scans and memory integration. It is possible I might be able to help you reassemble some of your missing memories."

Gabriel looks steadily at Betsy for long moments before he nods his head, "I understand. That would be most appreciated, I would like to better in fitting in and understanding customs both here and abroad." The man's feet shift in the boots he wears, causing them to drag under the chair in a motion that is one that signifies discomfort. His attention turns towards Emma, looking up to meet her gaze for a moment before his look drops to the ground, submissively. "I have been working with Miss Jean on the memories. She has been… comfortable for me to work with. I am sorry that I do not fit in well, I shall attempt to do better."

"You'll find that I have little use for platitudes or servile apologies," Betsy informs Gabriel, cooly. "Emma, even less so. Results are what matters: dedication and effort are what buy my sympathy."

"This won't be easy, Gabriel," she tells the mutant. "You'll find me a demanding instructor. It won't be easy and it will take some time. Once I'm satisfied you're making progress in integrating with the community here, we'll move on to meeting with strangers in the larger city. Your… unique talents require a more delicate touch and our goal is to make sure you develop yourself personally first, rather than focusing on improving your metahuman potential."

For a brief moment, Emma's lips moue as Gabriel gives that rather servile response. "Mister —" Emma pauses, even more annoyed, now, and then has to begin again. "Gabriel, I do not wish for or require your apology. What I require is your best effort. What I demand is that you do everything in your power to improve yourself and your situation. Nothing more. But also nothing at all less." There is a rigid formality to her tone, her bearing, her very way of being, that almost seems to radiate outwards from her infectiously.

"If you prefer to work with Ms. Grey, that decision is yours. I am better than she is at such things. But such work demands innate trust, and if you have that with her, perhaps that will be enough to grant you success." Emma's not saying Jean can't do it, only that she herself is better. And she is. Betsy is living, talking proof, after all. "You need a surname." she offers, by way of non-sequitor.

It is the demeanor of the two women that has Gabriel's eyes remaining on the floor in front of him, listening and avoiding eye contact. "I understand. I shall attempt to work hard and dilligently at my tasks. However, I have been staying with the X-Red people and was told that would not be changing. It is where I am comfortable." He pauses then and takes a deep breath, a small bead of sweat appearing on his brow. "What .. what tasks do I need to perform in order for this to remain the situation?"

"First, eye contact," Betsy says, crisply. "Whatever your situation is before, you are now a member of the Institute and will comport yourself as such. Head up, chin up, eye contact at all times. Listen attentively and hold yourself with some self-possession," Betsy says, her and Emma making a good argument for having their picture in the dictionary next to 'poise'.

"Second, it will be an hour of instruction a day. We'll be focusing on the essentials of Miss Post's guide to etiquette. Diction lessons, elocution, social graces. You will learn and master them all. Then guided study in the GED classes and homework at night."

"Stop sniveling." Emma offers, her tone light, her volume not the least bit raised, but with a snap and edge that carries the unmistakable air of command and an expectation of obedience. "Nothing has been said about you being removed from the X-Red facility. But they are not equipped to train you as we are. So you will come here for training, and we will guide you." Guide you. Grind you to dust. Same thing, right? "I suspect that it may require more than a single hour each day. But we will adjust and adapt as required." Emma's figuring that Gabriel is going to need a lot of physical component to his training, to build confidence and overcome this servile nature. That will be a challenge. One cannot surgically implant a backbone.

Gabriel's eyes slide closed as he retains his focus on the ground, breath coming in through his nose slowly and then he exhales through his mouth with equal patience. This takes place several times as the calming breathing goes through him. When he speaks, his voice is quiet. "I appreciate the assistance. I came to this place for help because I was told by my friends this was a place that could help me. I was resistant to this after having met some representatives of this Institute." His hands come to his lap, folding there to keep them in check as he takes a moment once more to breathe, feeling the beads of sweat along his forearms as the hairs prickle ever so slightly to stand up.

"I have no intent to be a burden or an inconvience; however both of you seem to view me as such. I am not a simpleton. I am not a fool either. I am lost. I am glad you are offering to help guide me." His eyes open then and this time they fall on Emma; coldly, as cold as his voice drops. "And I will treat you both with respect and will appreciate the same in return."

"You are one of us, Gabriel," Betsy tells the mutant. "We are poised to assist you in ways no one else on the planet can. There is no one here who can complete our larger mission operating in a vacuum. No one is accusing you of being stupid, slow, or obstreperous. But it is an entirely accurate observation to point out that you are in dire need of instruction in a host of fields. You will be accorded the level of respect you earn through dedication, hard work, and effort," Betsy tells Gabriel. "Respect is something earned, not given. Rest assured as long as you continue to make a sincere effort, I will treat you no differently than any other student at this school."

"I, on the other hand," Emma picks up, "will likely contemplate at the minimum verbal dismembering if you cannot learn to look up, not away, and speak with strength and reasonable confidence. I can see and feel the fire inside you. So stop hiding from it, and stop hiding it from us. If you want to be respected, be someone worthy of that respect. Which starts by being your own person."

Gabriel looks between the two women and nods his head slowly. "I believe I have an understanding." His breathing has become more normalized after the struggle to keep himself controlled. The man's hands remain folded in his lap as he looks between the two patiently. "I will put forth a sincere effort," That is said to Betsy as he looks her steadily in the eyes before Gabriel's attention turns to Emma, "And I will attempt to better reflect myself."

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