The Irony of it All

March 13, 2016:

Gabriel finally wakes up and meets Scott.

X-Men HQ

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Brinley Myers

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It was one of the quickest naps in the history of Jean Grey's life that she's ever taken. Everything felt too close at that moment. The way the world started to weigh heavily; the bright shine of the stars that she's seen in the memory and the way that she could feel the endless vacuum of space against her skin. The endless freedom. The reality shaping powers. The feeling of having her cup runneth over and.. the screams. God the screams.

They were louder.
And it burned us.
It burned her and she immediately rejected it with a start.

Seeing Gabriel still sleeping upon the bench had her sighing, the strange phone pulled from her pocket as she dialed into the medical room to have him moved to that area and given fluids while he slept.

A FEW HOURS LATER:

Jean had sent out the message to the necessary few as she kept a vigil by Gabriel's bedside. There were times when she drifted off to sleep and awoke seconds later, her heart beating and the need to crawl out of her skin there. It wasn't anything that Gabriel did. He actually saved her.. or.. did she save him.. it was all confusing. But nothing that she was going to trouble him with.

Coffee was soon produced from the maker in the other room, two spoonfuls of sugar and a dollop of cream had, food refused. Which was shocking. She hadn't eaten anything close to a day and a half and yet no appetite was there. But.. all she did was wait.

He was her patient, after all.


Scott Summers had been holed up for a bit, out on the property and away from electronics. He was old enough to remember a time before constant connection and he liked to unplug now and then when he was working on something. In this case, contemplating his squad formation and designing test scenarios to explore the necessary methods of teamwork. Jean, of course, could always reach him telepathically.

When he finally comes back and checks his com, he gets a message to come see her down in the med wing, an ominous enough thing, except that she re-assured him that she was okay. Which meant there was at least a fifty percent chance she was in a hospital bed, given Jean's definition of 'okay'. She'd have to be bleeding all over the place before troubling someone else with her pain. He makes his way downstairs quickly, still wearing a wool-lined herder's jacket, jeans and a light sweatshirt, his shades in place, as usual. "Jean?" he says, noting the figure of Gabriel in the bed and, frankly, relieved it's not her.


Several hours have passed for Gabriel, not that his sense of time would have any basis of knowing that since he has been in a dark dreamless sleep since being transferred into the medical suite. The soft coma being a reprieve from the intensity of the previous hours and needed but now his eyes stir at the sound of a voice and the passing of time, slowly opening as the last vestiges of purple glow within them dissipate away.

Tired sounding and with a strained voice, he asks quietly, "Where am I?" The recollection of events bringing him to this point a faded memory for the moment that begins to crawl back to his mind as he looks around him in an attempt to get his bearings. The sanitary conditions of the facility along with its feel cause him to shiver in uncontrolled fashion and breathe more with shallow gasps at the disorientation.


"I'm here.." She says wearily from the chair. The coffee was working fine but not for the rings that were starting to form around her eyes. She turns to look at him and smiles, then looks back to Gabriel's sleeping form as she leans back within the chair. "This is Gabriel, the one that I was telling you about."

Though, as he starts to stir, Jean sits upon the edge of her seat, her hand immediately reaching out to grasp at his as a sign of comfort if he'd have her, a frown crossing her face. "Shh..shh.. sh…" She starts off softly. "You're in our hospital. It's safe here.." She almost wanted to give him a hug, but she couldn't. She was just as weary as him, yet thankful that connection was severed. "No ones going to hurt you here.."


Scott Summers lets Jean take point with the young man. He still didn't know much about Gabriel, other than that he was homeless and had caught Jean's interest. He's relieved that Jean seems to be all right, but that also leads to just what's going on with Gabriel. He looks physically whole enough, which means either some sort of invisible illness or a psychic incident. Anything's possible, as usual.

He wasn't sure how much he could go with the 'no one's going to hurt you' promise, but Jean's heart was in the right place. But people left here with bruises all the time.


Hearing Jean's voice does seem to bring a sense of calm to Gabriel, as does the taking of his hand as reassurance. His eyes close and the breathing of his shallow chest begins to deepen once more as he focuses on control. The memories of things settling back in and finally he speaks after opening his eyes again, looking at the red head while doing so. "We were in the memory. You were dying. You put me to sleep." Each statement is made as a declaration but the expression of questioning on his face seeks reassurance of it.

Then he looks past Jean to where Scott is standing, tilting his head at the presence. "You brought help. In case… In case something was wrong. That is smart. You need to put me back; I do not want to go back but I must go back. I warned you of that when we met."


"Yes. You saved me though. And you needed to sleep. It was the only thing that I could do so that you wouldn't end us both." She smiles sadly at this, and as he looks up towards Scott, she shakes her head. "No no no no no. I didn't bring him for help. He was genuinely concerned." She sighs just a little, attempting to explain his position. "Scott is to me what that young woman that you went out on a date with is to you. Though much, much deeper than that. He's my boyfriend." Though, she didn't want to explain semantics about boyfriend and girlfriend to the young man, his entire psyche was at stake.

"I won't put you in a prison, Gabriel. Scott is here to help you. Not me. He's meant to be your other teacher and I'm sure he'd be honored to meet you."


Scott Summers smiles, "I was going to say partner, but, yes, the same thing. Partner in life, partner in work," he says. He isn't sure what's going on precisely - their psychic rapport showed Scott her genuine concern for the young man, but didn't give him any of the details she might have discovered. "I'm given to understand that you have energy powers, as do I. And helping to guide others in understanding their abilities is a large part of what I do," he says.

"Believe me, if something were wrong, Jean's more than capable of handling herself in that regard. More so than me, I'd wager. I admit, I feel a little bit out of the loop, so explanations all around would be a bit appreciated. But, regardless of circumstance, Jean speaks true - we're here to help."


The discussion, that he brought up himself of being placed away did not seem to cause any tension but rather a forgone conclusion in Gabriel's mind. But there is relief in his features regardless that things are not that dire perhaps. He looks between Jean, then to Scott, then back to Jean and nods his head. "I understand, more than friends. So you have sex." Blunt and straightforward, the Gabriel way. His attention shifts towards Scott.

"I appreciate that. Trying to learn to use my powers but…" He looks then towards Jean, "I believe Miss Jean would … I do not know if this can be controlled." He looks at Jean to verify that to Scott for him. "At least not safely."


Jean looks back towards Scott with a fond smile, then motions him over with a quick gesture of her hand. She doesn't let go of Gabriel until she could tell that he was somewhat back to normal.

Annnd.. yup. He was. Typical Gabriel. So candid in the way that he speaks and it makes Jean's cheeks turn rosy red. That was something you couldn't hide. It wasn't a blush of embarr.. okay it was slightly. But he spoke aloud what everyone on the team practically knows.

"Yes. We have sex." She clears her throat and shifts uncomfortably, finally releasing Gabriel's hand to rest her own within her lap. Another shift, and she's calm again.

"I.. think it could be controlled. Listen to me Gabriel. Everything that you're going through isn't something that can be cured nor fixed over night." She looks towards Scott with a worried glance, then back towards Gabriel. "I.. know I promised you that I would keep all of your secrets. But for Mr. Summers…" She pauses, then sighs. "..I mean Scott to have a better understanding of what happened, I need you to grant me the permission to show him everything." She smiles. "He'll keep your secret as well. But ultimately, it's yours to tell. If you do not want him to know, then he won't. Either way, he'll still do his best and give you his devotion in teaching you."

Scott Summers can't add much to what she has to say, although he gives a grin when she explains that yes, they did have sex. "We're not much for 'can't' around here, Gabriel. Doing the impossible is sort of our trademark,' he says. "And yes, I will be discreet with anything I learn about you - part of being here is trust and working together. Besides, I don't have that many friends, who would I tell?" he says, putting his hand on Jean's shoulder and nodding to her that he's ready if she needs to infodump into his mind.


Gabriel looks between the two and an odd small smile touches his lips. "I do not have many friends either." The confession isn't really a ground breaking one, considering his situation so he nods towards Jean. "You can share what you feel you need to. I will trust your judgment. If it will help keep others safe from me, that is what is most important." The look of trust in his eyes is very significant as he allows both of them his consent to know, well as much as he knows at this point.

A small, soft chuckle escapes him. "You blush as well about sex. It is amusing." The observation just had to be made, how could it not? Besides it helps him think about not being where he is. "Was I asleep long? Were they told at the Red location so they do not worry?"


"It's true. He's all work and no play." Though, she instantly regrets saying that due to her earlier confession. It starts with the ears really, her ponytail drawn back to keep them revealed gives credence of what's to come. But there was a serious moment there, for as soon as Gabriel said 'yes'. She allowed that connection to flow through from her to him with the entirety of the events that occurred within the last few hours. Everything that she felt, Scott would feel, though at a minimal scale, very minimal. He still needed protection.

This was an obvious strain on her, she still wasn't at one hundred percent. And it left her winded and dizzied. With a slight lean upon her chair, her hand presses against her forehead and eyes close.. and.. there was that blush again. Her face burned hot to the point that she was ready to burst. Even as eyes look around slightly horrified and an awkward laugh draws from her lips.

"A couple of hours and yes I emailed them excuse me I need water." Her words were hushed as she stands, a slight stagger from that dizziness that was still felt, and she disappears behind the curtain, leaving the two men alone.

"Stupid-stupid-Jean-and-your-stupid-non-professional-face.." She curses herself. QUIETLY. So no one could hear.


Scott Summers sighs, wanting to go after Jean but knowing this isn't the time for it. She doesn't need him playing nursemaid over her - he'd made that mistake before and all he'd done was drive her away. He spoke true earlier - Jean didn't need a protector. She knew he was there, she knew she was loved and he was never more than a thought away if she wanted his help. But he would not force it on her, not anymore.

He absorbs the aftermath of the memories stoically, merely closing his eyes behind the glasses, stilling himself to accept it. He doesn't fully understand what he sees - how could he, without context or background? But he can see the struggle, a struggle made worse by being in an untrusted environment, by knowing that everything about it was wrong. The other specifics can be figured out and, frankly, are more his business than Scott's.

Scott focuses on the practical. What he can do to help. And how. "I…understand,' he says. "I have had similar issues. Issues of power and control. In my face, it was a matter of finding the right way to channel my abilities. Yours will likely be more complex than ruby quartz. But we have the tools and personnel at hand to do the job," he says.


Gabriel's head cants to the side as Jean slips out to tend to herself, a brief hint of concern caressing his features before disappearing to look back at Scott. His look is serious now, the concern melting as the topic of what is in front of them is to be addressed. "The other two spoke of similar things. Of working on learning, educating, fitting in and through that finding control I believe." Gabriel moves to straighten up in the bed some as it has grown awkward to be laying at such an angle for him.

"They emphasized the struggle of hard work. From what we have uncovered in my memories, I do not believe struggling through something is a challenge for me. I can control myself from using the powers to some degree. Afterall, the city is still here is it not?" It could be a joke, it sounds like it is meant to be a joke.


Scott Summers smiles softly, "So it is, at that. And joke though you may, that's actually an achievement. I've seen many a mutant who's caused destruction while losing control of their abilities, through no fault of their own. Showing that control shows not only capability, but intent - that you don't wish to cause mayhem for mayhem's sake. That, too, is a good thing," he says.

"It will be hard work, absolutely. It might even be fun sometimes, too - I don't want to diminish the work. But having superpowers isn't all gloom and doom," he says.


Gabriel seems fine until the last part, that causes him to look at Scott rather intently as he shakes his head, "I do not believe it to be fun. I appreciate the intent of the words. To alleviate the tension and the stress. But, but during that time." He bites his lip and looking at where Jean had gone off to. "I could feel it." He whispers quietly, "I could feel the power, the energy. In that moment I could remake it all." His eyes snap back to Scott.

"I cannot play, or have fun. Not with that level of threat over me. I must be strong. I will keep those I can safe from myself." There is a commitment to his words as he nods stoicly to himself, then to Scott. "And I do have fun. Just not when a mishap could be so severe. For example two days ago I discovered what someone told me is called X Box."


It took a moment, but Jean returns with a tray of water. Iced water. The good stuff. In very tall glasses. They were set upon a hospital stand which was soon swung over a bit, one glass offered to Gabriel and the other towards Scott, her own taken as she quietly eases herself down into the chair. She apparently missed part of the conversation, her head tilting slightly as she shakes her head towards Gabriel. "I've been around you extensively. And in a dangerous moment. I'm fine, Gabriel. One could easily say that the only threat is yourself and your unwillingness to bend and realize the fact that.. well, we may need you." She shrugs her shoulders, then brows raise. Xbox? Someone has an Xbox? She even looks up towards Scott. Why didn't they have an Xbox.. they were going to get an Xbox..


Scott Summers can feel Jean's question and he raises a hand, acquiescing. They would definitely get an Xbox. "Well, at least I won't be the most stiff-necked and serious one around here," he says. "Having fun isn't slacking off - it's providing a necessary blow-off. The mind behaves like a muscle. You can't keep it tensed all of the time. If you try, it's going to give out on you at a moment of stress or when you least expect it. I understand that it might be easier, at first, to not let go. But that's fear talking. And we're here to help alleviate those fears. Although, if someone's to teach you to have fun, it should probably be someone else. Betsy, maybe, bitch or no bitch," he says with a smirk at having picked up that particular discussion from Jean's infodump.


Gabriel is silent after accepting the water from Jean and drinking from it. The cold glass in his hand is lifted up and taken across his brow as well to cool it down as the location despite the temperature seems to just be making him warm. Another sip is taken then he speaks. "I like to dance." His words are quiet but he looks at Jean, Gabriel's eyes smiling as does his lips. "I shared that with you. The night when my friend and I went dancing? That was fun."

He looks to Scott then, "I enjoy walking in the city to see people. And I have discovered as well that there is a type of music that does not disgust me. It is called country." That might explain the boots, cowboy hat and blue jeans he wears. "But those are things which are fun. I was told by the other two that I should be focused upon the difficult hard work to prove I am worthwhile."


They were going to get an XBox! Talk about being spoiled..

But she sips her water as well, her eyes closing to allow their words to sink in, only opening to watch the two converse, her own thoughts quieted for a moment as she looks from one person.. to the next.. again..

"We should probably take you to Las Vegas. There are tons of people for you to look at in various states. Some with green hair, some with spiky hair.." She grins up towards Scott. It -was- a thought after all. Plus, he made a joke, one which she was still, after all this time, trying not to laugh at.

"Gabriel, you should be focused on it. Yes. But.. let me show you something. There was a time when I was supposed to be here. Working. But so much has happened to the point where I could feel my stressors take hold."

She reaches forward to grasp his wrist, gently and mentally nudging him and allowing him to see what she did. She got out. Took time to herself. She actually went back to her childhood home and began to paint. But the first night there?

She turned on music, drank red wine.. and danced. And she was happy.

The vision itself fades away, leaving out the rest of the supposed vacation. It was a tragedy. Perhaps it was something to be shared at a later date. "It's important to focus. But it's also important to laugh and be free."


Gabriel nods his head towards Jean and seems to look distant when she shares the vision with him. For a moment he's quiet but manages a very slight smile. "It is difficult. To be told one thing, to try to understand it and to see a different perspective. I will find time for fun, to be free, as you put it." He pauses and looks between the two then, "But I cannot do so if I am a danger, da?"

For a few moments after that, Gabriel just looks at the water, taking a drink of it before shifting some again in the bed. "If… you are unable to continue with helping me with my memories Miss Jean, I understand. I will find another way to open them."


"I know it's hard." She gives his wrist a squeeze, then lets go. "But you have to decide for yourself and actually pay attention to yourself to know when enough is enough." She nods solemnly, her water soon sipped as her brows raise in slight amusement. "Don't be silly. Before we even began therapy, you went out and danced yourself. See?"

But she grows serious for the moment, her gaze lowering as she stares into the top of her cup. Her lips purse, and soon a slight smile draws across her face. "I told you. I'm with you til the end. We all are." She leans back then, finishing off the rest of the water until the point of the ice clinking against the sides of the glass freely.

"For you to be an amnesiac, you sure have a very, very grim outlook on life. I think you need to watch a Jerry Lewis comedy."


Gabriel actually laughs. It is a deep sound, a true laugh rather than a surface one as he shakes his head. "I have a grim outlook, yes. It is funny however." He bites his lip to keep from laughing more. "I do not know why I find this funny, as funny as I do. But the one with white hair. Emily? She told me I needed to be confident in myself." He looks at Jean, and grins sheepishly. "I am laughing because the only thing I am confident in, is that I am unconfident in myself." Oh good, Gabriel has just learned irony.

He looks around then and between Jean and Scott. "Will I be safe to return home tonight, or should I expect to spend the evening resting here?"


Scott Summers nods, "We don't give up easily around here, Gabriel. I'm afraid you've hooked your wagon to some stubborn, stubborn people," he says. He looks towards Jean at Gabriel's question. "That would probably be up to your doctor here. I'm not giving anyone medical advice anymore," he says.

"I suspect there's probably a bit of confidence lurking underneath the surface there, Gabriel. We'll find a way to harness it."


Jean looks surprised by that laugh. So much that her cheeks nearly burn red as she fights the urge to follow along the lines of that infectious laugh, her eyes squinting hard as a hand draws up to hide the smile, laughing all the while. "Emma.." She manages to speak.. but.. Emily was so adorable and it was something she was going to tease the woman about later. As he asks, she looks up towards Scott, nodding her head faithfully as she draws her shoulders upright. "You seem to be in good spirits." She smiles then, and stands.. using the chair to balance herself.

"I.. took the liberty of shining your boots. There's a bathroom to your left if you need to shower, as well as a fresh toothbrush and toothpaste." She idly rubs the back of her neck, glancing to the door. "I'll send the nurse in with some food, and then once you're finished your allowed to leave. Is this agreeable?"

She pauses for a moment, obviously a little bit ashamed to admit this. "It's.. leftovers. I made a Caprese salad with grilled salmon that I forgot to eat."


"Shining my boots?" Gabriel asks, the concept seems foreign to him and he will simply have to see them to understand what has occurred however the ability to go home has him nodding. "Yes, that is agreeable. I will follow the instructions." Even the part about eating which when she describes it his eyes light upsome. "A salad is wonderful. It is one of the only things I enjoy eating. Most food I see is so heavy and covered in things. And salty." He makes a face, tongue sticking out.

"I prefer simple foods. Salad. Fruits are good. Water of course. Oh, and milk."

Shifting the bedsheet off of him, shivering a bit at the cold air, Gabriel moves to stand up and head to the bathroom that Jean had indicated. There is no hesitation in his movements and no sense of propriety; afterall he doesn't know the decorum or expectations of a medical ward or the situation. Those lessons will definitely need to be included. As he walks towards the bathroom, his back being visible offers a nice view of the deep scars that run there; the origin Jean would remember from the first memory session, along with numerous tribal like tattoos in a strange language that decorate him.


"Mmhm. Cleaned them. And your clothes." But she does smile. After all that Gabriel had learned, he seemed to be in better spirits. The dread of him waking up and being angry and upset with her nearly dissipated but the lingering questions and fear were there. Fear that was staunched, tucked away to be dealt with a bit later. "Simple foods you shall have. I'll leave you to it and get An—.."

As he rises without care, Jean stares. Not for the reason that one might thing. While it was clear that his naked backside was visible to them, it was the scars. And the tattoos. The tattoos that were nearly similar to the ones that were written upon the doors in his mind. That causes her to reach up to grasp Scott's hand in mild alarm, showing him the vision of what exactly she was thinking. Her blood ran cold for just that instant, and quietly.. very quietly.. she takes her leave. With Scott in tow or not.

Anne would be in shortly after with the dinner sized caprese and salmon salad and glass of milk for him to consume.

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