The Stories We're Told

September 07, 2018:

Scott and Emma meet for lunch to discuss her withdrawal from the Xavier Institute's faculty… before she's even started.

A restaurant in Chinatown, NYC

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Jean Grey, Rachel Summers, Charles Xavier

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

They've not been halcyon days for New York City. Less so for the mutant community in the state at large.

And then there is Emma Frost, who has wrapped herself in a demeanor befitting her name like a cloak. It protects and deflects.

But when one Scott Summers reaches out to her so soon after she sent a memo to one Dr. Jean Grey to withdraw her offer to teach at the Xavier School, there is something a little funny about the timing. So, instead of refusing the invitation to catch up as would perhaps be her immediate desire, the blonde telepath sends an invitation to a small tea house and dim sum parlor in Chinatown that is barely large enough for the ten tables upon its dining floor.

And she sits and waits there, sipping on oolong tea and scrolling through her work emails on her phone. She's nothing if polished for the middle of a workday, her hair twisted neatly up and wearing a fitted white dress with a standing collar and low, square neckline. Stiletto heels of white patent leather despite the recent Labor Day holiday and a gold belt accent the look.

Chinatown is one of Scott's favorite places in New York, not that many know this. He likes the variances in colors and culture clashing here, it has more age to it than Mutant Town something he can respect. His earlier trip had him with

Scott Summers favorite place in New York aside from the many stadiums is Chinatown. It is the color differences and history of the location, the only place he finds a close challenge in this is Mutant Town for obvious reasons but there is too much negative and responsibility tied there, here, he's a stranger. That is until he is joining Emma Frost in that parlor.

The earlier blue v-neck long sleeved, khaki pants and dress shoes is joined with a light hooded sweater of greys, blacks and yellow. Sporty, nothing stylish or expensive.

The ever present ruby quartz lensing sweeps the interior to settle on Emma, a smile appears though a flicker-flash of one then vanishes as he joins the attractive blonde.

"Hey there." Much warmer than prior visits at least, some of that tense between them having bled away, at least for this moment in time.

The phone is quietly set down at her place in a private booth, and Emma allows a cool smile to curl her lips. To the waitress nearby, she orders another cup and a pot of a more meal-appropriate chrysanthemum tea. Another menu. Her lips speak English, but what the waitress hears is flawless Cantonese.

Then the blonde's attention returns to the dark-haired X-Man, and a hand indicates the seat opposite her with an unfurling of her slender fingers. "Hello," she greets. "Fancy meeting you here, Mister Summers. It's been some time. Do sit?"

[—

"Not quite as fancy as you. Like always." He fires back while joining her, tucking long legs in so he can seat himsel opposite the blonde telepath.
"It has been some time. I'm not doing very well at keeping up appearances right now or engagements."

Scott reclines in to his chair enough it lets out a slight creak.

A menu plucked up though, he's not hungry. Thirsty.

"Busy?" The question falls in a space just before the waitress comes back with the extra menu, extra cup, and the pot of tea to steep at the table. It's a small restaurant, and nearly entirely empty. "M goi," Emma offers, making a small bit of eye contact as she slides her things further into the booth's space to make the deposit easier. And from there, it's a small order of a couple plates.

She waits until the waitress takes whatever Scott will have, and then the blonde makes a show of leaning back and crossing her legs. "What has kept you so occupied? Anything you care to talk about?"

"When am I not?" Scott inquires, "When are any of us not run ragged right now. The current climate for our kind says if we hold still or stop motion, we're going to get lost under the tidal wave."

"Something simple, a tea or a beer. Thanks." Scott says while handing his menu over. Eye contact for as much as it can be managed is there, as far as one can tell and feel.

"I'll give you that play by play in a moment first…" A tip of his chin up and a frown, "You, it sounded like you were about to join us at the school, finally, and… you retracted it. Why?"

Emma's gaze drops to the table. "Right to that, hm?" She takes a very deep breath, an inhalation made through her nostrils audibly, and then lifts her head. And when it comes back, the smile is gone.

"I want to teach, Scott. More than I have words for. All I've ever really wanted to do is to teach. However," she continues, fingers reaching out for the pot of oolong so she can pour the last of it into her own cup. "I have enough suspicion cast in my direction on any given day. I can put up with a fair share of it, considering things. However, I did not expect to hear that there was no one there who was willing to say that they had put my name forward. That they supported me. Not. One."

Emma's eyes remain on her cup. "And then, because of the mysterious addition, there were presses into my personal life. I withdraw my offer, and suddenly - not so mysteriously - those presses cease."

The blonde sips from her cup, savoring the cooled brew with close eyes. "I withdraw my offer, to the sound of crickets chirping. Clearly, I am not going to be missed. You're the first one to say anything at all, other than 'memo received.'" When her eyes lift, the woman does her very best to look bored because the aftermath of that emotion is superior to anything remotely resembling vulnerability. "I didn't expect a parade, but I have other things I can do with my time that might be better appreciated."

"Right to that." Scott confirms though his smile remains as she inhales and drops her own.

The /however/ has him leaning forward on his elbows, resting them upon the flat surface in front of him, fingers coming together to interlock.

"I supported you, I put your name forward as did the Professor. Not sure what you're talking about on that front, Emma."

"What did you expect to have heard from the school and it's staff? Outside of Jean Grey who is acting on behalf of the Prof right now, all you needed was us." A noise rumbles out of Scott as he frowns at the table between them, his gaze finally falling from her.

Emma's eyes narrow, but despite the look Scott will feel nary a tingle of her powers being levied against him. All it would take is an uncurling of her abilities to scry some measure of truth for herself beyond normal knowing.

She curbs the impulse with another long breath.

Her expression softens, from her haughty disapproval to something a little more tentative. "That isn't the story I was told." And then? Her elbow plants itself thoughtlessly on the table so she can lift her supported hand and massage the bridge of her nose. "The rest of the staff be hanged, Scott. I don't care. I care about the children." Not entirely true, her not caring about those opinions, but she'll be damned if she admits it.

"But I've your Jean Grey needling me as part of her acceptance of my coming and touching on very recent… sore spots. It was very clear she wasn't happy about it, but… understandable, I suppose. But then I've your Rachel Summers trying to push her way into my affairs, enlisting others outside of your team and staff to help her do it."

Her shoulders shrug. "Giving ground does not come naturally to me, but I really don't know if now is the time to rally your troops into cohesiveness by offering myself as some sacrificial beast for them all to despise together." A pause, and then her head lifts to search the nuances of Scott's expression. "Did you really support me?"

"What you were told?" Scott's brows arch upwards, he frowns and tries to recall if he overlooked a message, report, memo or email. No conversations are coming to mind and he could practically be burrowing a hole with his stare into the tabletop right now. He could… realistically if not for those shades.

"Jean. I see." A rub of his palm against his cheek and he exhales, "Well, that is a surprise to me I'll admit."

"Rachel as well?" There is an irritation rising in Summers. Threads out there and ongoings he has no clue about and it's coming to a front, more and more.

"Cohesive is a key word about now."

"I did and do support you, you've been loyal where others were unavailable and you've begun to open up that cold exterior the more we've spoken. I didn't honestly expect this curve ball, I'm sure the Professor doesn't even know… he was the one who set me to enlisting you after all."

Manicured fingertips tap along the table as Emma lowers her hand. But then she picks it up again to drape over the handleless tea cup. Another sip drains the tiny vessel nearly dry. She takes her time in savoring the tea, and murmurs a few polite somethings as the waitress sets down a bottle of Snow beer in front of Scott, two small plates, and several steam baskets between them. Dumplings, and meat, and something wrapped in lotus leaves.

Once the woman leaves, Emma goes about picking up the available chopsticks to pull a sampling from each. "That was my understanding," she allows, her eyes fixed upon her work. She takes her time, and then folds her hands upon her lap after setting the utensils back down. "I'm willing to reconsider if you find that I've misjudged the situation. If you want me to."

"I'll keep a wire open for you. I apparently have to approach the situation again as well. I am out of the loop, clearly." Scott says, the table no longer just a point of intense focus and he appears to be shedding some of his agitation. It serves no purpose come long run, not against Jean especially. There may have been a simple misunderstanding or… other issues. Possibly on the personal side of things. Very possible. He'll have to find that out soon it appears.

"I'm sorry you had to go through that, Emma. I can assure you, it's very likely miscommunication. Lots of things happening lately. You can understand… with the Brotherhood." His voice lowers a notch, more hushed. "The impact it has on our attendance isn't the most noticeable thing we go through. We amp up security, put awareness out there more.. it's a huge ordeal. A lot happens that people don't realize. Protocols that get checked through, rigorous ones often enough."

Emma's eyebrow pricks upwards as she takes a bite of her food and listens to the X-Man talk. But an eyebrow prick is as much as shock allows. He apologizes; she shakes her head dismissively. Then despite herself, she leans in for another bite and - just before she takes it - tentatively asks, "Effect on your attendance, how?"

Scott's chair scrapes across the ground as he reclines, his head canting to a slight angle as his shades ride down his nose just enough to grace the tops with crimson light emission…
"The school's attendance, Emma." He says, his stare remains fixed during the response. "Obvious reasons there I imagine."

A tap of his thumb and he considers, "Where is your mind at right now? What's going on in there?"

One corner of Emma's mouth quirks upwards in a smirk. "Well, there's a dangerous question." The blonde ducks her head a little and eats a little more in her prim, careful way. But then the chopsticks are set down and the corners of her mouth, carefully dabbed at with her napkin.

"Although for the sake of this particular exercise," she continues, setting the cloth down once more upon her lap, "I suppose I'm not entirely certain. I'm trying to figure all of this out, too. I’ve other things I'm balancing." Her eyes drop from where she's met Scott's hidden own to find her tea. She once more lifts the cup into a place of delicate suspension between her long fingers to sip.

"Only if the answer is not up to snuff." Scott counters and the quirk she displays of the lips his own mirrors slightly, much less colorful of course.

"It's rather exhausted I guess. I'm talking it in to corners as much as I am thinking it. I haven't found an angle of approach yet, just too much at once and here we are." He adjusts his shoulders, half-rolling them as though that will get his mind to flip gears, for a subject hop of his own and his thoughts to dance off somewhere less headache inspiring.

"You know, I passed up a good hockey game and front row tickets to bask in your company tonight."

Emma permits an amused hum to pass her lips, her blue eyes set to a dark glittering by the compliment. Flattery is an easy way into her better graces, it would seem.

Or, perhaps it’s the flatterer. “Did you, then?” she asks, leaning forward and settling her chin onto the hand she supports with an arm playfully planted on the table’s edge.

“Well, I suppose I should consider myself especially fortunate for the company, then. You didn’t need to, you know. We could have done another day. The upside of being the boss is that when you say that you’re taking a long lunch, no one really argues the point.”

The foot she has that’s left suspended for crossing her legs now makes lazy amused circles that set her body to gently swaying. “You could probably do with a few more of those yourself. All work and no play makes dull boys of men.”

She sighs melodramatically. “Although, I suppose it could be argued that you traded the play for work to come see me, so I probably shouldn’t lean too hard on that…”

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