The Abnormal Standard

May 06, 2017:

Nate returns to Xavier's after dealing with the reality shift to find most things fine, but details skewed.

X-Men Mansion's kitchen

This is the residential quarters for not only Xavier, but for the
faculty, otherwise known as the X-Men!
As one steps through the large front door, the first they see is
this magnificent foyer. It fits the mansion, being in a graceful and classic
style that seems so uncommon for a modern era like this.
Dark wood accents take the primary amount of space within the
foyer, as well as with the rest of the building. There are two expensive
hallways, one going east and another west and these halls are lined with
large wood doors, pantings on the walls and sculptures resting atop simple
pedestals. There are chairs and tables setup in groups in some of the more
open spaces of the foyer where classes are sometimes held in conjunction
with one another.
The other main feature of the foyer is the staircase that sits
against the wall opposite of the main entryway. A very wide set of stairs
lead up to a mid-level landing that has a very large picture-esque window
with gorgeous stained glass tinting the sunlight when it shines through to a
golden-hue in shade. The staircase splits and two additional cases lead one
upward to the east and one upward to the west.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Storm


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

It is a quiet Saturday morning Nate returns to Xavier’s. No classes today, so many students went home, and those who are staying are not in the Mansion, but in the Academy installations and the sport fields around it. He assumes most of the teachers would be in the mansion, but can’t find Xavier’s mind. Typical.

The young man looks pretty battered; a step worse than his usual scruffy self. Maybe just out of a fight or perhaps he just got run over by a truck. It seems to happen often with Nate. Wary too. He steps into the Mansion through one of the side entrances, examining the room as if it was hostile territory.

Saturday morning, which almost certainly means that Illyana had a busy Friday night. By rights, she should look just as rough as Nate, if not more so.

Of course, she doesn't.

At the sound of the door opening and stealthy steps moving inside, Illyana turns her perfect blonde head toward Nate, showing no sign of surprise. She rubs the red apple she just snagged from the kitchen against her top to give it a quick polish, then bites into it with a loud crunch.

"Hi Nate." She says, indistinctly as she chews, then swallows and adds more clearly, "Who or what happened to you?" She adds a bright smile to the question.

Sleep has been an elusive thing for Scott since his return to the mansion. It shows in the disheveled hair, the rough bags visible around his glasses and the general slow way he is moving. Even being a mutant it makes them hardier than a normal human, more capable of harnessing superhuman powers but they're still in the end stricken with mortality. A yawn concealed by a fist and the former X-Men leader makes his way past the other two and in to the kitchen, "Good morning." He offers, it isn't morning or is it?

A simple black tank top and sports pants with a single yellow stripe down the legs is all that is worn. Off duty casual. Very civilian looking. Scott is in normal mode at the moment whatever that may be.

Nate keeps his eyes on Illyana until the blonde greets him, then he relaxes a little and leans against the closest piece of furniture. “For fucks shake,” he grumbles. “Something happened a few days ago, I got… hmm, I got shifted out of the world. That really ranks high in my weird-o-meter. Did you notice anything?” He glances at Scott when he comes in. The question is also for him, kind off. “Took me a while to find my way back and now I am finding some… stuff. Things that not fit well. Not as I remembered them.”

Illyana's only response to Nate's scrutiny is to raise an eyebrow and take another bite of her apple. She shifts aside when Scott drags himself toward the kitchen, answering his greeting with an amused, "Good guess." Her eyes shift between Scott and Nate, smirking as she compares how out of it they both look, but then puts her private amusement aside to listen to Nate's complaints.

"Someone stole you away to another dimension and it wasn't me? Should I be jealous?" Illyana asks him, but then shakes her head. "But no. No unwanted out of dimension experiences for me." She looks him over again. "Are you sure you didn't drink or smoke something that disagreed with you?" The smirk is back, but there's a thoughtful look in her eyes. Maybe she's taking him more seriously than she's letting on.

Scott stops in front of the coffee machine with his back to them. Listening. "We may have to have everyone write an account of any dimensional concerns, just in case." His mug is filled and he tests the heat of it before taking a drink. "And no smoking on or around the mansion grounds." Still serious mood. Almost a hint of dad tone in there if anyone here knew what that was. He does. Corsair was once upon a time a pretty good one of those.

A smile cracks the surface though, maybe it is caffeine inspired or he is trying to lighten up, "It's nice to see the two of you though. I hadn't expected either of you in the kitchen…. this hour… " Scott has no clue what hour it is. He is still waking and it isn't early. "Illyana, you're actually just the person I needed to see."

Nate straightens and huffs. “I have been sober for a month. But maybe I should fix *that*. I do feel I need to get drunk.” Or maybe he would start with coffee. Since there is some around in the kitchen. Yes, that is a good idea. “Something is vaguely wrong. I can’t exactly pin in what it is, but I can’t get in telepathic touch with some people I could just a few days ago. Minds don’t change so fast. Also…” he stares at the coffee machine. “Is it new?” Wrong color, wrong brand. Doesn’t look new. Maybe he should skip coffee just today and go straight to alcohol.

The doors out to the patio open and Rogue appears within them. She's wearing a green tshirt with a local band's logo on the chest, a pair of jeans shorts and some stockings on beneath those. Her hands and forearms are covered in dark green gloves that go up to her elbows and she's got a leather choker around her throat with a little silver X on the front of it.

Rogue also has a lit cigarette in her mouth.

She strides into the kitchen and grabs a cup off the counter then goes to fill it with ice out of the freezer, glancing over at the others in the room she smiles at them. "Hungry hungry hippos up in here?" She asked them all while filling the cup with ice.

Illyana wrinkles her nose at the prospect of Scott's written assignment. She wasn't all that keen on such things when she was a student, let alone now. Good thing he's got his back to her. And then Rogue appears, bearing cigarettes. Illyana nods to her, mimes smoking and points to Scott's back. Fair warning.

"Before lunch, Nate? Do you want me to find you a brown paper bag for the bottle and port you to a park bench, too?" She looks slightly worried as Nate inspects the coffee machine with unusual intensity. "Even if it is, it's not going to bite. Have some coffee, Nate. I might help you look for whoever you've lost when you're coherent."

Scott's revelation that he's been looking for her catches Illyana by surprise. "Me?" She asks, "What do you need me for?"

A brow uplifts at Nate's revelation of needing to get drunk. "No. Not new, same one I've fixed about three times now. Go with Illyana's advice, coffee before liquor." The smell of the cigarette catches Scott's nose the same time as Rogue starts to speak, he is going to feign ignorance to it hopefully long enough for Rogue to put it out before he has to default back to stick in the mud. He is even going so far as to not greet her yet so he doesn't have to be a overgrown hall monitor. He shouldn't have to with some members of the team. He isn't even sure when Rogue started smoking.

"Wanda and I encountered an N'Garai here in Westchester last night. One of their cairns might have been disturbed." Like last time only Scott isn't at fault in this particular instance.

Deciding any coffee is good, Nate fills a mug and adds some milk and half a ton of sugar. Rogue’s arrival makes him smirk. She is a pleasant sight, and looks pretty normal by what he remembers. “Want coffee, Roguie? Everything normal in your corner of the world?”
Scott words make draw his attention, though. He is not as tired as not to hear that name. N’Garai? Definitely something he has heard before and it was not good news.

Rogue knew that smoking wasn't allowed inside the building, but she didn't plan on lingering inside for very long. She saw Illyana's silent warning and she replied to it by rolling her eyes and then grinning a little around the cigarette lingering between her dark red painted lips.

With ice in her cup, Rogue took the tea jug out of the fridge then and poured herself some of the tea she'd made yesterday afternoon. So at Nate, Rogue lifted the tea up and then reached up to take the cig out of her lips. "I'm good, Nate Dog." She said, flashing him a smile.

Rogue started back toward the doors to the back patio and she looked at the three of them. "I went out with some friends last night, concert and then to this 'fight club' thing that they do. It was pretty damn cuite watchin' punch each othah and act all tough. I kept wantin' t'hop in, but… yeah, that'd be bad."

Now standing outside, she smoked her cig then blew the smoke out toward the outside. "What the hell is a 'N'Garai'?" She kinda had trouble even pronouncing that word.

So not something she did or didn't do? Illyana goes from surprised and slightly suspicious to intrigued in no time flat. With Nate now engaged in coffee making, despite the apparently suspicious nature of the coffee machine, Illyana decides she can leave him to his own devices. "Sounds interesting." She says, taking another bite of her apple before banishing the remains of the fruit to the bin via a tiny stepping disc. She finds a clear area of the counter and boosts herself up to sit on it, crossing her booted feet. "I'll look into it." She offers.

Catching Nate's sudden interest in something other that the possible malevolence of the coffee maker, and then Rogue's question, Illyana twists around to look Rogue's way with a smile. "Demon." She says casually, before adding, "Unpleasant. And not one of mine." In a tone that's probably meant to be reassuring. "They keep finding their way in, sooner or later. Want to come demon-hunting?" From all appearances she's quite looking forward to it.

"Rogue. Hey! I didn't even see you there." Scott flatly teases before nodding at Illyana, "I was hoping you were going to say that. We encountered only the one, might have been a scout, could have been just a stray. I am sure you can handle it and if it is something more serious than a handful… " A shrug. She knows where the X-Men are.

"I'm going to have some patrols run just as exercises and hopefully we don't encounter more." Scott is fairly confident Illyana can handle these demons. It is one of her specialities after all.

Nate sips from the mug, hearing about the demons. They have another one to track down in New York, too. He should ask Illyana about it when he has caught up in whatever weirdness he has fallen this time. “Count me in,” he nods to the blonde. “Although first I need to, hmm, maybe make a few phone calls. See you in a few,” he heads out.

Rogue smirked at Scott's sudden, and hammy, realization that she was standing right there. She was sipping from her glass of iced tea when he said it and after lowering the cup from her lips she gave him a sly smirk. "And hey to you, Fearless Leade'ah." She said in a saucy and husky voice at him, teasing as ever.

Rogue averted her eyes then over to the counter-seated blonde and she gave Illy a grin. "I'd be happy t'help ya smash the teeth in on some grumbly rumbly demonic nerds. They think they're so damn scary… 'til they have a run-in with me, that is. So just grab me and drag me, wheneve'ah you wanna little more punch in your play, pretty lady." She then took another drag off of her smoke and watched Nate make for his exit.

After he left, she commented to the others. "Somethin' seems to be botherin' him, he seems a bit stressed."

Illyana offers a brisk, almost businesslike nod to Scott. "I'll yell." She confirms, although the tone of her voice is more than confident. Her expression turns mischievous when Scott mentions his training plans. "If you'd like something to jump out on your patrols just to keep them sharp, let me know. I can arrange it." Delivering demons on cue is as much a speciality of hers as removing the unwanted ones.

Nate and Rogue are favoured with a nod and, in Rogue's case, a definite smirk, when they count themselves in. "I'd better make sure we find something, then." Illyana remarks, since Rogue's so enthusiastic. "N'Garai or otherwise."

Despite her earlier needling of Nate, her eyes narrow as she watches him leave. "…he's gone weird." She says, under her breath, at almost the same moment Rogue voices the same sentiment. Illyana looks around at her and shrugs. "He said everything around here was wrong, somehow. I'll check in on him later." She can sound a little concerned now that Nate's not in the room.

Even stoic Scott 'Slim' Summers has to melt a little when Rogue is behaving a certain way. Southern charm perhaps. He doesn't correct the leader thing, hes not it anymore Storm has been tagged but out of habit he doesn't even think twice about it. It was the way for so long.

"Does he?" A fail on Scott's part but he doesn't exactly connect well with Nate. They have never had that bonding experience, two bodies orbiting around the same thing just out of reach. Genetics are there one would think that connection also existed. A slight frown crosses Scott's brow above the deep red shades.

"Thank you, Illyana. You probably know him better than most of us." Things different or wrong around here? Scott isn't seeing it. "I'll give you a nudge if I want you to spice things up for training purposes. I am sure Storm won't mind."

Rogue stood quietly for a bit listening to the others while standing just outside the open doorway and letting the smoke take to the wind off to the side past the doors. She sipped from her tea again and looked out toward the back yard and the forest beyond.

"Things are definitely wrong around here." She said. "I mean, two months ago we have an alternate version'a Bobby Drake just show up, three or four years younge'ah than he was previously. Then we got all these damn pod people… demons and god knows what else."

Rogue shook her head and looked back inside at the two of them. "What is right about any'a this? I mean, maybe I'm just more simple-oriented and am lookin' for some kinda 'Andy Griffith' version'a life that just doesn't exist." She looked back out toward the backyard again and took another sip of her drink.

Illyana lets an eyebrow quirk when Scott suggests that she knows Nate better than his… kinda sorta father. But that's all she's not going to say on the matter. Besides, she has evil plans to make in case Scott /does/ let her sic her demons on unsuspecting X-Men for training purposes. She's probably not aware that she's rubbing her hands together gleefully…

Rogue's voice brings her back to the here and now, and she slips down from the counter, moving a couple of steps toward the outside doors but still keeping a bit of distance. "Maybe." Illyana allows. "But more than normally wrong, for us? Nate was talking like he turned around and the world changed without him. That's the sort of thing I think I'd notice." Illyana looks past Rogue, outside, then turns her blue-eyed gaze back on her and shrugs. "I don't know whether to ask one of the telepaths to look inside his head or swap his underwear and sock drawers when he's not looking." She nibbles on her lower lip for a moment, as if she's actually considering that. "Might snap him out of it."

"Dysfunction and abnormal is our standard." Cyclops states dryly. "When has anything ever been normal? We're talking about my alternate dimensional son I never had here. It doesn't get more weird than that."

"I know we have all grown used to a certain measure of unusual, a familiar line, maybe his is off. Out of sync?" Scott is speaking as a man who is integrated in to this timeline, this reality, this now. Before the Savage Land he was a different person, things were different. After the Savage Land with himself, with Jean, with everything it has changed but he is more 'now' than he has ever been or at least he likes to think so.

"And NuHumans, Rogue. Manners. Reader could be in the other room and he has ears like well… " A handwave in front of his own glasses. That small teasing smile reappearing even when he spies the menacing hand rub of Illyana. What has he suggested? A small position change in following them just enough to lean outside the patio, against the frame while he holds his cup in one hand.

"I think we would all have noticed something like that. Just for safe measure I am going to Ororo, Jean and the Professor about something possibly gone awry, I mean, after the Steel City retcon… "A visible thing inspired by a superpowerful Nuhuman? Or mutant? Those present were outside the change, the loop, maybe Nate wasn't. Maybe he is feeling something off. "Just check your phones later for the update. If any concerns are had, voice them, please."
"See, Rogue. I said please. Maanerrs." He stretches the word out.

Rogue finishes her cigarette and she steps up to the small table on the patio to drop it into the coffee tin that was resting atop the table. "Ah guess so…" She said to the others. "Doesn't mean I don't wanna live in a more simple Mayberry-style world though." Her head was shook and she grinned. "But screw it. I'd prolly get bored t'tears within a month's time and wish for things t'be more like they are now."

Rogue walked back toward the open doors and leaned back against the door frame. "New Humans…" It felt weird for her to say stuff like that, she had trouble with it… probably due to her personality quirks more than anything. "Right right." She smirked over at Scott and his manners bit. "I got all kindsa mannahs, Scotty. I just have trouble givin' a whip about'em. Blame my aunt, she made it nigh-on impossible for me t'care, the way she tried t'enforce'em on me."

Illyana snorts almost silently at Scott's words. It doesn't get more weird than that? The three-fifths demon with her own personal hell dimension thinks she could give Nate a run for his money in the weirdness stakes… but it's not about her. Rogue gets a more audible snort, just before she admits how boring a normal life would likely be. "A month? Try a week." Illyana comments, her tone suggesting even that's generous.

"There's someone I could ask. Outside of our little bubble here." Illyana volunteers after a few moments consideration, then pulls a face. "Of course, whether he'll give me a straight answer is another question." She shrugs. "I'll let you know if I find out anything."

"Sounds like a plan. Let me know if you come up with anything Nate, N'Garai, Rogue bail money or otherwise." Scott uses his foot to push off from the doorframe, not too fast. Spilled coffee is a tragedy.

"Blackbird diagnostics won't run themselves. I'll see you two later." Back in to the kitchen to wash his mug and then Scott makes for the hangar.

Rogue grinned at Illyana's words about her getting bored of a 'normal life' after a week. "Maybe you're right." She said in response to it, taking another sip of her drink. "Girl can dream though… Of a quiet little home off in some grassy greenfield where she can just sit and chill…" A longing sigh is released then and Anna-Marie reached up to brush some white bangs out of her face from the winds. "Picture-esque!"

Rogue glanced over to Scott when he was hitting for the exit and she flashed him a grin. "Let me know when I can fly that thing, okay?" She knew way more about the SR-77 jet then she actually cared about it… thanks to Carol, who was still bouncing around inside of her mind.

"…with no indoor plumbing, no phone signal and no nightlife?" Illyana, who grew up without any of those things and survived, still manages to inject some faux-horror into her voice. "I'm taking you demon-hunting before you forget what fun IS." A circle of light appears on the floor around Illyana. "Be ready." She tells Rogue with a smirk, and then seemingly drops through the floor, leaving her alone in the kitchen.

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