Homecoming Cleanup

November 18, 2017:

Piotr, Cloud and Kitty chat while starting the process of cleaning up the damage from the giant demon bear attack. Piotr and Kitty make a game plan.

Xavier's Institute

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Illyana, Rachel Grey, Scott Summers

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

A day or so after the demon bear attack…

This is hardly the first time that the Xavier Institute has been attacked or damaged. When a gorgeous mansion just happens to house a mutant powered superhero team it seems to take more than it's fair share of the punches. Life goes on in the mansion, but it is not back to normal by any means. Some classes have resumed, because honestly if they suspended for too long between attacks there would never be any. Some sections of the dorms in the upper hall have been damaged and their are large section of the roof that need to be replaced.

Piotr missed the attack. He happened to be off site and the whole thing was done by the time he managed to make it back. Illyana was a little too busy not dying to port in her big brother and sadly that means he didn't get a chance to land a single punch in the fight. Even if he had been in the fight, he would be doing the same thing now, helping clean up the after. Dressed in a casual outfit of blue jeans, white tank top and steel skin Pete is currently carrying what looks like half of a wall down from the upper floors. He doesn't seem to even notice the weight, but is being careful to not further damage the mansion or you know take out an unsuspecting student as he goes.

*

Moving around amongst the reconstruction and repair efforts walks a short young asian woman - Chinese, if one is good at picking out the differences. Dressed quite humbly in very simple clothing - no designs or labels to be found, no embroidery and barely any signs of dying or color, most definitely not a fashion plate here - her distinguishing features seem to be her short stature and her long mane of silky black hair. She does not seem to be talking much to anyone, but moves around efficiently, gathering up debris and carting it off in her arms to the dumpsters arranged around for just such purposes. She seems a bit stronger than one might usually expect for her size, but by no means is she a powerhouse like Piotr. She otherwise seems quite comfortable with physical labor, shying away from no task or effort, not finnicky or worrying about her cleanliness, nails, etc, just lending a hand anywhere she can. But hers is a face few if any here at the mansion would actually recognize. And she doesn't seem social enough to be offering her name to those who watch her with curiosity.

*

It's hard to miss the damage to the Xavier Institute. Kitty Pryde, having been away for a few days, can see the destruction from the driveway. While it's not the first time this has happened - nor can she believe it will bet he last - she goes running up the walk and straight toward where most of the damage is. Dropping her bag on the ground, she all but skids to a stop where Jhiao and Piotr are helping repair.

"What in the world happened? Aliens? Brotherhood?" Kitty is already starting to pull her hair back into a ponytail so can start to climb in and lend a hand. "Was anyone hurt?"

*

To fit through the front door Piotr shifts the large segment of wall to one hand, and as if it were a cardboard box, he tosses it one handed into a waiting dumpster. Xavier's has a long standing relationship with a slew of companies to help put it back together at this point.

Seeing Kitty approach Piotr stops what he is doing and puts his hands up in a welcoming gesture of sorts. "Katya! Welcome.." He glances around and offers a perfunctory "Demon bear, I am told. Maybe wolf as well." He would expound but really he's not perfectly clear on the situation yet. "Not seriously, and I believe all students are safe." An X-man getting hurt is tough, but happens, a student getting hurt is something far more serious.

Looking now to the small Chinese woman with them Piotr offers "But I was not here, were you little one?" Yea, most people are little to Pete and he has gotten in the habit of referring to most everyone as such, some find it endearing, some.

*

The small Chinese woman pauses when Piotr speaks in her direction, turning to look at he and Kitty, head canted to the side, for a few moments. Then she nods. Yes, she was here. She bends her knees and lowers herself, wrapping her arms around another piece of rubble, then breathes steadily - audibly - outward as she stands up from that crouch, lifting a piece as big as herself. Then she starts walking, slowly but evenly, towards that dumpster. She, however, walks around to the far side where the door has been opened, allowing access at a vertical level lower than over her head. She returns a few moments later, apparently looking for another piece. "Hai. Was here. Then was not." she murmurs, softly. She shivers at that last, eyes drifting down away from their faces, as she looks for something else to do, rather than talk about that part.

*

Piotr gets a smile and a nod of recognition and welcome as she recognizes the tall Russian man. "Piotr." She might offer more of a conversation, but she's more worried about the state of the Mansion and the people inside of it. To hear that they're all safe - or as safe as can be when their home has a gaping hole in it - is good to hear. She lets out a sigh of relief.

"A demon bear?" Her eyebrows knit in confusion and wondering if she heard that part right. "You're saying a bear and a wolf did this? What, like, an army of them? That I'd believe." Looking about in disbelief, she shakes her head. "How is that possible?" Her eyes fall on Jhiao, as she was there. She needs to figure out what was going on. "I mean, that would have to be one pissed off and determined bear and wolf to do…" a hand gestures about them to take in all the rubble and destruction. "…this?"

*

Gleaming metallic eyes narrow as Jhiao confirms that she was there and offers the brief statement, a furrowed brow and look of concern cross the giant metal man's face. Piotr reaches up to smooth his beard, a habit now in his flesh form, though utterly pointless now seeing as it, like the rest of him is solid steel.

Turning back to Kitty, who of course needs details of which he has very few. "Uhm, no it was larger, more like giant demon bear and giant wolf? Though I am unsure why if they were demons Illyana was not more effective. I have not spoken with her yet, but I hear it did not go as she planned." Again his brow furrows, obviously this time in concern for his sister. He doesn't understand much about demons or magic, but time and again Illyana has told him that she can handle just about anything in those realms. He doesn't doubt her power, but he does assume she is just trying to get him to stop worrying about her.

Again addressing Jhiao now Piotr reaches out a hand to take what she is carrying "Please, you should rest. If you were attacked.. or hurt .. this is what I am here for now." He is obviously wishing he could fix the whole damn thing himself, but especially hates the idea of someone who was in the attack having to also clean up.

*

"Demon bear? Size of skyscraper. And horde of crows." the Chinese woman offers, softly spoken once again. Her Chinese accent is strong. "Stupid magic." she grimaces. That said, she picks up another bock of rubble and repeats her earlier effort. When she returns she continues. "Several adults were seriously injured, but none died. Students were put safely into subbasement. Most still bunking there." Given many of the dorm rooms are just plain gone, or in ruins. And still all of this is offered without a word of explanation for who the heck Jhiao is or what she's doing here. She does not seem flummoxed by the two of them, however. So the lack of recognition seems to be one-sided.

*

Kitty starts to climb her way into the ruin of the mansion to help start clearing with the pair as explanations are given. She pauses in her pursuit when Jhiao tells them that the bear was the size of a skyscraper. "A bear the size of a skyscraper?" That's a terrifying thought. Especially one that was brought by magic Her eyes glance about at the remains of the crows that litter the ground by the yard. That's definitely not normal, no.

The smaller woman is nodded at once she finally manages to climb up to a position on par with them. It isn't really in her nature to see other people working and not offer to help out. As she doesn't spend all her time at the Mansion, Kitty must assume she's one of the staffers she has just not met yet.

Piotr's mention that Illyana was here mixed with the knowledge that some of the adults were seriously injured again bring her pause. "Illyana wasn't hurt, was she?" she looks to Piotr to confirm this. If anyone would know, it would be her brother.

*

Tilting his head back and forth Piotr realizes giant is maybe understating it, he has also heard it was skyscraper size. He agrees with Jhiao's statement with a soft "Da." He pops a broken door off the frame and takes a bunch out. He has not thought much about Jhiao's presence as he is just recently back and is surrounded by more unfamiliar faces than familiar ones at this point.

"Da, Illyana is safe. I believe." Of course this is just what he's heard, it's been chaos and he hasn't had time to ask Hank or whomever is in charge of caring for the wounded. Illyana will always tell Piotr that she's fine, she's predictably unreliable like that.

"I do not know who else was here to fight them off. I am sorry I was not." It's not an apology, just a regret from the big tin man. He shakes his head a bit and says "Honestly, I am unsure who is here now. Everytime you return .. it is different." There is a bit of extra weight on different. Not good, not bad, just emphasis. One that every X-man is familiar with. Who is dead? Who is back from the dead? Who is evil? Who is good now? It's a weird little game that's quite specific to this "family."

*

While Kitty is not even a fourth as strong as Piotr, she does start to help clearing what she can out of the way. It helps a little that she can phase things through the wall and drop it right onto the lawn, rather than needing to pick up rocks and debris and toss them over the side.

Knowing that Illyana is safe brings another breath out of relief. "That's good," she says - sure that he's just as happy that she wasn't grievously harmed. As for not being here when the attack happened? She looks around at the dead crows, the ceiling gone, the large hole where a wall used to be and she nods. "Yeah. Me too." She might have been able to help, made sure less people were injured.

There's a sad smile at his mentioning of how things change every time he returns. "I know what you mean. It's good to see you, though. Are you planning on staying long?"

*

Piotr, like most Russians is not quick to smile. He still has a hard time with strangers always smiling at him, like they know something. But he sees the recognition in Kitty's eyes, the same sad smile appears on his face. "I am not sure. I think I will." He knows he's here for a while, he's committed to teaching but he doesn't expect to really know much about his future, things change too fast around here.

"I have offered to help teach again. And Scott is considering adding me to active roster." He gives a shrug as if to say that he doesn't have strong feelings either way, and likely it won't matter. Things come up, and active roster or not, X-men take care of them. "And you Katya? Are you.. living here? Visiting?" Realizing that those things change and are not what he means to ask anyway he follows up with the more important "Are you well?" What he wouldn't give to just know that about all of his teammates. Maybe Rachel will just give him a telepathic run down later if he asks nicely.

*

Kitty, on the other hand, is generally quick to smile. She can also be quick to anger. On the whole, she's an emotional person and one that doesn't tend to hide those emotions once she's experiencing them. There's a nod of acknowledgement when he says that he's at least here for a little while, perhaps with the option of being added to the active roster.

"I think that'd be good." Glancing around at the how the Mansion is right now, she gives a vague gesture to the state of things. "It's clear we could use you around." Hearing that he'll be teaching, she pauses and glances over her shoulder. "Art?" At least, that's what he taught last time, if she's remembering correctly.

The question about her own role in the mansion is met with a shrug of her shoulders. "I'm mostly living here now, but I was kind of occupied elsewhere for awhile. Still am a bit." As for if she's well, there's a soft laugh. "I was doing a lot better about twenty minutes ago before I saw all this, but yeah, I'm alright. Dealing with a few complications, but who isn't? They definitely did not deal with bears the size of skyscrapers, so as far as I'm concerned, they're pretty minor."

"How about you? Any particular reason for coming back and staying for awhile? Not that just wanting to be here isn't reason enough." Her eyes drift toward the empty part of the mansion that's still intact. "For a lot of us, this place will always be home no matter where else we go."

*

Busying himself with making sure to get the larger objects out of the way, Piotr turns his back to her but gets the gist of her gesture anyway. "Da. I think it is good for me to be here." He indicates the chunk of debris he's lifting as if that is what he means, though it's obviously not the only reason.

"Art, yes. I was thinking of starting a sculpture class this spring.." He mostly paints, but lately has been working more and more in other areas.

"I know. It is hard to see our home in such a state." Yes, most X-men would call this home, regardless of their current life situation. When she asks about him, he stops for a few seconds to consider. "It was time." He considers leaving it there, but decides he may as well be a bit more honest. "And I was concerned about Illyana. I know she is doing better.. but I worry about losing her again." And here losing her might mean any number of things, not the least of which losing her to a more demonic way of living.

*

For the next little while, Kitty focuses on her own task, too. She wasn't really dressed for what is essentially construction work, but she's not about to let that stop her. Shoving the smaller pieces of debris and piling things together, she at least manages to do what she can to help clean up.

"Sculpture sounds nice. You've got plenty of rocks that you could use for chiseling now." Always look at the silver lining, right? "Plus, then, if you don't like the sculptures, you can just paint over them."

For Kitty, his answer of 'it was time' might have even been enough. She knows enough of her own relationship with the X-Men, the students here and the Mansion itself that she can understand that sometimes people need to go home and stay there for a little while.

Piotr's worry over Illyana pauses her again and she turns toward the taller Russian. "Is this all preemptive brotherly protective instincts? Or…?"

*

Piotr actually lets out a genuine laugh at the thought of sculpting with the debris. "How poetic Katya. Using rubble to make something beautiful." Poetic, yes, but not what he had in mind. He does find himself glancing in the dumpster now that she mentions it though.

Piotr knows he could have left it alone. The family dynamic seems to vacillate wildly between people not wanting to talk about their issues and people who can't seem to shut up about their issues. It wouldn't have given anyone a second thought, but this isn't someone random.

"I do not know anything. Illyana.. *sigh* she does not let me know." He is not complaining per say, he has accepted that in her own way she wants to protect him. He does add with a mischievous grin though "I have considered getting Rachel alone with a bottle of vodka and getting the straightened story. I believe they are close now." His smile changes now to something more wistful, though it's mostly obscured by his sweet beard. "I am glad for that."

*

When she makes Piotr laugh, Kitty can't help but grin in return. That was an earned laugh and she's going to take it as a win. "Why thank you!" Unable to help herself, she gives a short, shallow bow toward him when he calls the idea poetic.

The X-Men are a tight-knit community. Rumors travel fast. So does gossip. And while it's possible to keep some secrets, it seems inevitable that information and issues are not going to stay quiet for overly long.

It's refreshing for Piotr to be more open about his worries about his sister. "So a little of the former, a little of the latter." Brotherly protective instincts and also the worry that things might still be wrong. His idea of getting Rachel alone with a bottle of vodka is met with something of a smirk. "That might not be a bad idea. You could make a drinking game out of it."

*

It's good to have moments of levity. They sometimes come easy in battle because of the adrenaline, but it seems like they are harder to find in these slower, more dower times. Piotr offers a quick clap or two to the bow, though his steel hands sound more like clanging large pots together than applause.

He shrugs at her assessment. "Da. It is both." He will always come back for either the team or Illyana, and if it can be both then all the better. "I do not know this Rachel very well. But I hear good things. However, if she is foolish enough to think she can keep up with and vodka, she will need to be taken down a peg or two." There really is only one person who ever tries to keep up with Pete and vodka and Piotr has not had word on where the ol' canuckle head can be found.

*

That's what the Xers are good for, most times. Having each other's backs and also cheering them up when it's necessary. The metal pot applause is taken just as well as a clap that sounded more normal.

"I'm sure Illyana will be okay," Kitty says on a more serious note. "Especially now that you're here to help." There's certainly something to be said about having family around that can help in trying times.

Then, she grins. "I doubt she can beat you in a drinking contest. But the trying to find out is half the fun! And after all this, I'm sure everyone of legal and not-so legal drinking age will want a drink. Or three. I wasn't even here and I feel like I want three beers."

*

This has certainly helped lift off the dour mood of cleaning drudgery. Piotr accepts the serious reassurances and nods, he feels like there is a really good chance that things will work out, but he is also sure it won't be smooth sailing. It is never smooth sailing.

"Ha! I am sure you are right." He leans in and cocks a metal black eyebrow "Then can I count on you as my co-conspirator in this? Perhaps we can have even a side bet. First to get the real story?" He laughs at the thought of the two of them trying to do this without a first class telepath realizing. These are what pass as games here, unless anyone mentions baseball.

*

The mention of a wager is met with a raised eyebrow from Kitty. There's a nod at being a co-conspirator in helping him find out what has been going on with Illyana. "I'm not sure I'm comfortable betting about it, but I'll certainly try and help you find out what happened. Drinking contest or otherwise."

After all, if Piotr means to go through with this, he'll certainly need all the help he can get in trying to hide something from a telepath.

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