Magik Taxi Ride

January 03, 2017:

Jean returns, and Illyana is sent to bring her back to the mansion.

JFK International Airport


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Storm, Cyclops


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

JFK International Airport, a couple days after the New Year. The airport is as busy as always, packed with people seeking to depart, return home, meet up with loved ones, or swiftly leave them! The emotions in the air are almost overwhelming, sadness, excitement, trepidation, eagerness, every emotion imaginable and then some. It is this reason one Jean Grey has very firmly shut off her abilities. While it has been a long time since crowded situations have gotten under her skin, she has little desire to be swamped.

The statuesque red-head idly steps off the escalator, her stride leading her towards one of the many baggage claim carousels. There as she waits for the conveyor belt to begin spinning about with the flight's luggage, a call is made to a very important location.

The mansion's telephone b-b-brings to life, as Jean's voice offers to whoever picks up a quiet, "Hi, this is Jean, I was wondering if I could get a ride from the airport?" The idea of renting a car, or having a taxi fare seems a bit excessive - when someone from the mansion could simply pick her up.

After getting assured someone would be there, Jean continues to stand among the throngs of people, crushed together like sardines, eagerly awaiting their items.

Surely it's not beyond the resources of the Xavier School to provide a car for one of Professor Xavier's original students?

Maybe it's not, but it seems someone in authority has something else in mind for Jean.

Not long after her telephone call, the redheaded telepath is placed under observation by an eldritch power that originates from another plane of reality altogether… all right, someone asked Illyana to pick Jean up from the airport and the blonde sorceress is currently watching the endlessly revolving carousel of luggage from Limbo, not even attempting to hide her boredom. "I swear." She says in a sour tone, from her position lounging on her throne. "That purgatory has nothing on airport baggage reclaim." She examines her fingernails for a moment or two, apparently finding them satisfactory, then bounces up to her feet and stalks over to her scrying pool. Jean still hasn't moved, but there aren't many bags left to be claimed, so Illyana guesses she should get a move on. She trails a hand across the surface of the pool, locating an unobtrusive entry point, then vanishes in a flash of light.

All of which goes to explain that when Jean finally reclaims her luggage, she'll find a young blonde woman dressed in black, holding a card with 'Jean Grey' written on it, and a bored expression on her face.

It takes almost, in Jean's opinion, an eternity for the baggage conveyer to finally begin spinning, and even longer for her bags to appear. Two large bags are pulled from the conveyer, and with a little secret telekinetic assistance, Jean's soon swiftly moving away from the masses. The throngs of people begin to thin out the farther away one gets from the baggage claim. Her steps draw her towards the entrance, knowing it's going to take awhile for the mansion residents to get here, the red-head had planned on getting a coffee at one of the near vendors and relaxing with a newspaper - her steps stop, however, when her gaze rests upon the bored blonde, then the sign.

While Jean knows Illyana, the two have had very little true interactions, at least Jean knows the girl's name.

The warmth of a smile is offered to the blonde, as Jean steps up. "Illyana! Thank you for coming, I appreciate this."

Jean expected a car, maybe one of the limos, perhaps Warren or Hank, Scott's still away for the time being, so she knew he wouldn't be here. "Did you have a good New Year?" Jean asks as means of social interaction and 'chit-chat'.

It's not quite as packed in the arrivals area of the airport as it was in baggage reclaim, but there's still plenty of people coming and going, or just milling around waiting for flights to arrive.

It's a little odd, then, that despite the bustle the not very imposing blonde appears to have a small bubble of inviolable personal space around her. No one is quite standing next to her, and even the most distracted, jet-lagged of passengers, yammering into a cellphone and not at all looking which direction their luggage cart is going, still manage to swerve around her without coming close to bumping into her. And all the while, Illyana just gazes off into the middle distance. She doesn't even have to glare. It's a talent, though possibly an unnatural one.

Some animation returns to Illyana's expression when Jean walks across her field of view, and a smirk curves her lips. In answer the warmth of Jean's greeting, Illyana plays dumb for a moment. "Jean Grey? Taxi for one? I'd better warn you, the meter's already running and if I get a ticket for being double parked, you're paying." She holds the smirk for a second more, then lets it broaden into an amused grin as she tucks her home-made sign away somewhere and falls in beside the redhead. "No problem. But I've got to admit, when Ororo told me to be ready when she called on me, I was expecting something a bit more dramatic than this." She injects a playfully aggrieved tone into her voice. "Welcome back, and all that. This way." She says, nodding toward one of the less-popular exits from the terminal building. "I'd offer to take one of your bags, but I bet I'd be the only one getting a workout."

Jean's polite question seems to amuse Illyana. "Not bad. Met new people. Helped them visit new places. Even brought them home again." She says, a touch mysteriously, then leads the way through the exit and around a corner. It looks like an overflow area for taxis, and it's presently empty. No taxis. No limos. No cars of any kind.

Considering Jean's hands may be actually around the handle of her luggage, but there isn't any true weight being applied to her arms, yes, Illyana would be the only one getting a work-out.

Jean's expression doesn't shift away from the warmth of a smile, it just broadens even more, "Next time I shall endeavor to make it more exciting for you." The teasing tone is given with a twinkle of emerald eyes.

"And thank you, it's good to be back." Jean returns, the amused note to her voice still there. Her gaze flickers over Illyana, as the two make their way towards a very unpopulated area of the airport.

A slightly brief furrowing of her brows is offered in confusion as to the location, before the memory of just what Illyana can do filters through Jean's thoughts.

At Illyana's fairly cryptic notion of the New Year, Jean's brows lift upwards, "That sounds - interesting." She offers, "I hope it went well for you." Still in the general 'chit-chatty' mood, Jean's senses reach outwards, listening for any one's thoughts on them, or around them. Her gaze flickers once more towards Illyana. "We are clear of everyone." She offers. Jean's never been in Limbo, and the idea is intriguing, if a bit - unnerving.

Illyana had turned around and was watching Jean for the moment the penny would drop, a sneaky smile on her lips as she sees the furrowed brow. She does give a small nod when Jean's expression clears. If it was a test, Jean evidently passed.

"Interesting's a good word." Illyana replies bladly, not being evasive but not volunteering much information either. "Oh yes." She says, that sneaky smile back for a moment. "It was definitely… educational for everyone involved." She seems remarkably satisfied either with her answer, or with her memory of the event. "How about you? Get up to anything fun?" The smile turns downright wicked. "I figure that since I'm not picking up Scott as well, you at least had a chance?" She's clearly not one of those who offers automatic deference to the older generation of X-Men.

"Got it." Illyana replies breezily. "Please ensure your seat backs are upright and your seat belts are securely fastened!" Unable to resist the airline reference, Illyana raises her arms a bit theatrically - and a stepping disc whisks them away.

The nature of Illyana's powers require a stopover in Limbo - but it can be as brief as she chooses. Before the first stepping disc has faded, a second swallows them, giving Jean only an instant to view Illyana's domain - in this case a large stone room, lit by fitfully flaring torches, a large, imposing stone throne, and maybe, just maybe, something large and demonic moving in the shadows behind it. Illyana's eyes are on Jean again during the transition, the light of the torches and overlapping stepping discs seemingly conspiring to illuminate them with a sorcerous glow.

And then they're in Jean's office in the Xavier Mansion, and her suitcases are nowhere in sight. "I dropped your bags off in your room." Illyana says, before she's asked. "No extra charge."

If Illyana expects Jean's expression to change away from the smile? She's pretty much in for a disappointment. While Jean doesn't miss a thing, not the slight movement, not the brief glance around Limbo, nothing. She also, however, does not alter her expression. It remains the curve of a smile to her features, the twist of a grin to her face. It's just her eyes that betray just a hint of - surprise to them. The slightest raising of her brows as she goes through Limbo, the very briefest widening of her emerald gaze, before her expression returns to normal.

It's only as Illyana and Jean end up in Jean's office that the red-head's features shift, and then it's to grin even wider. "Careful now, Illyana, I might have to hire you for all my trips."

Glancing around her office, Jean's fingers idly run across the surface of her desk, where a slight layering of dust has accumulated. "It's good to be home." She offers, gaze moving to the window before once more focusing back upon Illyana.

"I spent the New Year with my folks, my sister and her children. It was - relaxing, and fun." Jean doesn't go into further detail, as really she suspects Illyana has little desire to really know more about it.

Instead, Jean settles onto the edge of her desk, arms now crossing over her chest. "So, no, I did not get a New Year's kiss, sadly. How about yourself, care to kiss and tell?"

Illyana does so like to surprise people. And since Jean was expecting Limbo, she only gets a glimpse.

Illyana's contrary like that.

Jean's grin finally gets a genuinely matching one from the blonde. Walking over to Jean's desk she spins around and leans against it, bracing her hands against the edge. "I know, right? On time, on target, and when you travel through MY hell dimension, YOU don't end up smelling of brimstone. What's not to like?" She snickers. "Trouble is, you couldn't afford me."

Illyana watches Jean investigate her office, then wipe some dust from her desk, Illyana wrinkles her nose. Very deliberately, she raises her hands, inspects her palms, then ostentatiously brushes any, possibly fictional dust from them, before shifting her butt off Jean's desk and wiping off her jeans. "They've really let this place go without you." Illyana remarks sniffily, then looks sideways at Jean. "I know what you mean." She says, her tone a little less flippant for once.

The blonde demoness' nose wrinkles again when family entanglements are mentioned. "There go my hopes for salacious gossip to spread before anyone else finds out you're back." She says, mock-sorrowfully, then snorts when Jean tries to turn the tables on her. "Never do." She says with a snort, and a devilish look in her eyes. "If they don't know what you did, they can't tell you not to do it again."

Stuffing her hands in the back pockets of her jeans, Illyana finds she's swapped positions with Jean. "So did you hear about Storm calling the troops home, or was it just time?"

Shifting herself around to face Illyana, but still remain on the edge of her desk, Jean's arms untangle from her chest to sweep outwards around her. "Honestly, Illyana, it was a little of both. The all-call came in at the right time." She states, matter-of-factly. "I was finished with my studies for the semester, and it is time to return - home. Hopefully all agree with that sentiment."

Glancing down a moment, Jean moves to stand, her steps taking her to the window, there to look out for a moment. Memories jostle through her thoughts, good times, bad times, though now is simply not the time to dwell upon the past.

Reverie fades as Jean turns back around, "Thank you, again, for coming to pick me up. Perhaps I can repay you with a trip into the city, some shopping, dinner and fun, another day? I haven't purchased something new and modern for me in some time."

There's a flicker of curiosity in Illyana's eyes at the way Jean phrases her reply. "Why wouldn't they?" Some might have been polite enough not to ask, but apparently not Illyana. "After all, it's not like you're twice as old as when you left, and they only have your word that you're actually you, right?" Illyana's grinning, and she says the words in a light, encouraging tone that doesn't… quite… fit.

She leaves Jean to her thoughts as the redhead looks out of the window, wondering if it's time to make a quick exit, but she should have known Jean would be far too polite to let her go without a word. "No problem." Illyana begins, with an automatic shrug, before she processes Jean's suggestion. And again, there's that flicker of curiosity in her eyes, this time with a tinge of devilish anticipation. "You're on. Name the day." She says with a grin. "Just two warnings. I don't take any prisoners when I shop, and…" Impossibly, Illyana's grin gets bigger and yet more devilish. "When you say 'new' and 'modern', I'm hearing 'make Scott swallow his tongue'." And with that beatific, cheshire-cat grin, Illyana drops through the floor in a circle of light before Jean has a chance to back out.

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