Fire & Ice

August 28, 2017:

Emma Frost and Jean Grey meet for a discussion. (Before Genosha)

New York


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Cyclops


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

5:00. The magic hour. The drinking hour.

If it were the price that were the driving factor, perhaps that would be something. Or an actual need to meet outside of office hours.

But for Emma, it is none of these things. Rather, it is some semblance of concern about appearances. For the present company, perhaps, since she really doesn't feel bad if she's drinking at ten in the morning or two in the afternoon. Shame, guilt… Social constructs built of other's expectations that she has pointedly tried to remove from her life with varying degrees of success.

Maybe she just wants company.

She's ordered a bottle of pinot grigio at the little Mediterranean bar on the Upper West Side where she's claimed a table for herself and her guest on the private courtyard that has made the best of its place in the shadow of three tall apartment buildings. A shade garden, lush and green and of complex artistic composition, surrounds a dozen arrangements of wicker patio furniture with thick cushions of floral and striped design in hues of russet, olive, and cream.

She's also already poured and started drinking. Depending on how long Jean lags behind the appointed hour will have a direct relationship on how much of the bottle is gone.


The trip into New York wasn't usual fare for Jean, especially with school starting up and so much to catch up on around the Institute after her absence for so many months. What was coming in Genosha was important though and Jean had felt that Emma's stance on the coming war was important to Scott due to his mention of it to her.

Where Jean was fire, Emma was ice and those two elements rarely mixed well together. The past was the past, Jean hoped as she kept her thoughts carefully guarded upon entering the little Mediterranean bar.

Emma with her designer clothing and personal gravitas was not hard to miss, the other woman positively stood out compared to most people; a trait that at times Jean quietly envied.

"Hello, Emma." Jean said cordially as she stepped closer to the bar and within earshot.


Emma is basking lazily in the comfortably warm weather, having fallen under a stray sunbeam that has chanced just so through the razor-thin crack between buildings. Her hair is more sleek today, falling in straight lines on either side of her face and down her back to compliment the minimalist lines of the backless long-sleeved white dress she wears, skin-tight and prominently featuring keyholes on either side of that hourglass waist of hers.

Her smile is serpentine, distracting perhaps from the consideration - the wariness - that hides behind her pale gaze. But the outward wariness stops at the crinkles of her eyes, her brain locking down all of her telepathic bleed through to the very best of her ability. She is not a book to be lightly read, and - in that not-so-distant past - there was a point that she was read a little too deeply for her comfort. And there is the perpetual worry that her dark little corners, if they were spared during that time, were only left alone out of pity.

"My dear Jean," she replies cooly in kind, indicating the comfortable chair opposite her with the unfurling of a perfectly manicured, long-fingered hand. "So glad you could join me. Couldn't ask for better weather. Did you order it up for the occasion?"


Jean's eyes took in the expensive dress appreciatively, while it wasn't really her style or within her price-range, it was hard not to like or even admire, "That's a little out of my reach, but maybe Ororo had a hand in it, who knows." She of course, doubted that Storm had anything to do with the lovely weather to compliment the end of summer; but it was a nice thought.

"Thank you for agreeing to meet, I know we've never exactly been the best of friends, or really, friends, even. Maybe that can change." Jean's words were sincere and filled with warmth, but she knew that it was probably wishful thinking.

Taking a seat in the chair indicated and crossing her legs as she makes herself comfortable, she looked back to the dress before smiling at Emma, "I love your dress, by the way."


Emma forgoes replying to the offer of sunny futures, the kindness and undeserved graciousness, waving it all off with a non-committal 'hm'. As she regards the beloved Jean Grey after, she does remember her manners. Particularly when it comes to the matter of her immaculate taste in couture. "Thank you."

She continues, picking up the bottle of wine and beginning to pour a generous measure out for the redhead. "And thank you for agreeing to come out this far to have that meeting," she says, twisting the bottle with an artful turn to prevent any dripping when she stops its flow. Her home turf certainly gives her some comfort. "What can I do for you, Miss Grey?"


Jean reaches over for the glass of wine when Emma is done pouring it, picking it up gently before nodding appreciatively, "You're quite welcome, and thank you, I probably needed a drink more than you realize." Raising the glass to her lips, she took a generous 'sip' before setting the glass back down.

"I was hoping you might have a little bit of time to talk about the Genoshan situation." Jean paused a moment before continuing to explain, "Scott mentioned you agreed to provide aid and I was just wondering what you thought of it all. It would be nice to hear your perspective, and thoughts."


"Of course." And, of course, Emma is promptly setting herself to the task of making certain that there is no one around who can hear the conversation. They drink alone, but she makes certain that none of the servers inside remember that she's outside and might need tending.

"Would it?" She sips lightly from her cup. "I think it's a wonderful mission, and I'm glad to help. However, I think it also possesses a disconcertingly thin margin for error. And errors in this particular effort possess the ability to have a number of catastrophic short- and long-reaching consequences for our kind."


Jean listened to Emma's assessment and didn't miss the subtle psychic influence in the area that would provide them a measure of privacy, thanks to the White Queen herself, "I agree, it's very risky, but necessary." She had her own concerns, mostly about the potential unknowns that might be presented but she had faith in Scott and the X-Men.

"I'm going to assume that you have more faith in it, than not if you're willing to provide your help." Jean didn't mean it to sound like Emma would only back the plan if it had a good chance, but it was perhaps hard for her to fully forget the past, "Is there anything, particular, maybe that stands out as a problem that we could give extra care to?"

She raised her own glass of wine to her lips, taking another sip as she awaited Emma's response.


"Well, more than anything else, I have faith in the fact that there is a country full of tyrannical bigots who need a proper whipping and a woeful shortage of those who are willing to wield the whip." Draping her arms over the arms of her chair, Emma lets her glass dangle from her fingertips languidly as she crosses her long legs beneath the table.

"As for the largest of the gaping holes: what have you done to contain the PR nightmare that could come of foreigners conducting acts of terrorism? To wit, if word gets out and the news does as the news will… What, precisely, is the plan? SHIELD could have assisted with that, particularly since you have a acting liaison, but that was dismissed rather abruptly by your Mister Summers."


"I think the hope is that once Genosha's actions are laid bare for the world, that nobody is going to be looking too closely at who did it." Jean replied to Emma with the best explanation she could give, because she didn't know herself if there was a contingency for opinion not swaying against Genosha.

"As for refusing the aid of SHIELD, I'm sure he had his reasons and they're probably very good." Yet another variable Jean didn't know, but she was sure she could find out if she pressed Scott about it, "I think he feels this is a battle that mutants need to win, if I had to guess."

Another long sip of her wine was taken before she asked, "Would you be willing to put something in place to handle any PR issues?"


Emma doesn't immediately respond. No resounding 'but of course' springs to her painted lips. But, neither does a comment escape to express her washing of hands.

Instead, she tilts her head in open appraisal of the woman before her, and takes a long pull from the wine in her hand to drain it. The empty vessel is then set on the table, leaving her fingernails to tap contemplatively against the stone surface. There's a question hanging on the air, but she doesn't immediately address it. Instead, a carefully neutral commentary on the other thing out of Jean's mouth. "I should think that anyone would know who knows anything at all about my genetics would also that I would never be the one to suggest anything but the superiority of mutantkind. You should know better. I hope you are not suggesting that someone believes otherwise."


That was where Emma and Jean differed largely in philosophy, where Emma felt that mutants were superior, Jean felt that everyone was equal. If it was up to her, there would be no distinctions, but those distinctions were part of the vocabulary that dominated their lives, part of the conflict that seemed to never end.

"No." Jean replied plainly, "I wasn't suggesting that. I don't think your views on the subject are a secret."

Draining her own glass of wine after Emma does, she set it back down and stared across the table waiting for an answer to the question with a guarded amusement at the back and forth with a woman who had once been an enemy and was now an ally.


Leaning forward, Emma reclaims the bottle of wine and begins to pour for herself a fresh measure. "Good." The remainder of the bottle is split evenly between herself and her guest. There's satisfaction found in the answer, for all that she knows that the difference of philosophy probably grates on the other telepath. It may, perhaps, feel just a little better for it.

She has never claimed to be a wonderful person.

….well, okay, maybe she has on occasion. But there is some self-awareness, at least, that she's hardly a good fit for the title.

"When it comes down to the brass tacks, darling, I will do whatever it takes to survive. In this instance, I will do what I can to handle the PR and whatever else is asked of me."


"I'm glad we did this, but maybe next time we can go with tea." Jean smiled at the wine but was unsure of drinking anymore. Not wishing to be rude as it had already been poured for her, she snatched up the glass and raised it towards Emma in a gesture of a toast, "To success in Genosha then, I'm sure your help will be instrumental."

Jean hated to admit it, given the difference of opinions and views but she knew that Emma was a valuable friend and ally not just to the X-Men but mutants in general.


If you can't be loved, be useful. That does seem to be the takeaway, doesn't it?

Emma sets down the empty bottle and then lifts her glass in kind, answering the cheer. "I'm sure it will," she agrees easily, her smile the ambiguous sort that doesn't really betray anything of substance. It certainly isn't the sort meant to breed any feeling of comfort.

"And I suppose if you play host the next time, you can serve whatever you like." Leaning back, the blonde looks as though she's about to begin basking in the opportune sunbeam… but it's already gone again. She commits to the closing of her eyes, anyway. "So long as the tea passes muster. Serve Lipton and we'll need a heart-to-heart."


The confidence that Emma seemed to radiate about Genosha helped ease some of Jean's unease about the entire affair, but she couldn't help but feel like it was the fate of the X-Men and Mutantkind that something was going to be wrong.

Setting her glass back down after a big drink, she laughed easily at Emma's comment, "Oh, not to worry. I only drink Tetley." She wasn't sure that would be any improvement to Emma, but it was expensive enough by her standards!


An eye cracks open, revealing a blue iris full of suspicion. Jean's teasing, right? Surely, she must be… oh, God, she's not.

Emma smiles thinly and with a vaguely condescending curl. She can't help it. "I'll bring some new varieties for you to try." Look! So generous! She's growing as a person right now and—- yeah. She doesn't buy it, either.

Maybe that's why she simply uncrosses her legs and lifts herself onto her feet, finally allowing awareness of the courtyard to slip back into the minds of those inside the restaurant. Her tiny clutch purse is plucked up off of her chair and opened so she can pluck out one of those fancy little pieces of plastic. "But, until then… I really should be going. I'm taking a little bit of sabbatical from work while I wait for all of the action to begin, and I've a flight to catch this evening."


Jean caught the hint that her standard of tea was below Emma and felt almost low-class next to the other woman for a moment. Her thoughts wandered back to the dress that probably cost as much as half of our wardrobe if not the whole thing, "That sounds lovely, I look forward to it." She doubted she would be able to afford the type of tea that Emma drank, but it would be a nice change of pace.

"Have a safe flight and thanks again for meeting me." She watched as Emma got up to leave, deciding to sit and stay a little bit to enjoy the sunshine and wait for the light buzz of the wine to fade.

The meeting had definitely gone better than she had thought it would and for that, she was quite happy.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License