Job Interview

April 28, 2019:

Darcy gets to talk with Xavier in person. Scene backdated a few weeks. Xavier emited by Nate Grey.

Xavier's Office


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Nick Fury


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The Professor has his office in the second floor, and it is one of the largest in the mansion-turned-school. It even includes a private elevator to his bedroom in the first floor. It was that or rebuilding the staircases for wheelchairs.

Xavier has been quite respectful with the old family mansion. The building has an air of respectable and venerable despite all the super-tech hidden (and not so hidden) all over the place. His office looks something from a century ago, with dark wood furniture, paintings, bookcases full of first editions large volumes and a large desk full of papers. Some of which are stacks of homework and tests he has to review. He likes the homework on paper, not just computer documents. Handwrite skills are important in his opinion.

He looks mid-fifties or so. But he served in the Korean War. Xavier is old, and in some regards old fashioned. There is a tablet on the top of one of the paper stacks, though. He is no strange to high technology, and in fact he designed the X-Men’s first Danger Room, before they had alien tech.

On the tablet there was a series of report on one Darcy Lewis. One from Cyclops, one from Jean and one from Nick Fury. That one self-deleted after he read it. Which was certainly infuriating and means Kitty Pryde will have to go over the school external mail server again. SHIELD’s hackers are good.

Darcy made her way into the office. Back here again. The last time, it was a conversation with Scott. This time, it’s with the Professor himself. Still recovering from the hard turn that left her apartment vacant long enough for the crap neighbors to steal nearly everything, she's not dressed in anything close to professional attire. Still, it's clean and her chin is up and her shoulders square. Self confidence and pride are business appropriate enough.

“Good afternoon?” Darcy says as she makes her way in. Eyes on Xavier, the question in her voice is very real. Sure, she had spoken with Nate and Lorna about it, but had put it out of mind since she had more pressing matters to deal with; matters like her next meal, clothes, and a better place to stay than the halfway house she was in.

Xavier offers Darcy a friendly smile as she enters the office, offering the woman a seat in one of the comfortable chairs that face the corners of his desk. “Good afternoon, Ms. Lewis. Please sit down. Welcome back to the school. I am told you are interested in working here again.” There is no questioning in the ‘good’ of the ‘afternoon’.

“I have been terribly busy lately,” he explains in an apologetic tone. “This course I have been forced to give most of my lessons by holo-conference. Although I am sure my students prefer I can’t read their minds while I speak my lectures.” Pause, “not that I would,” he adds, “I much prefer trusting the worlds of people, and handle the normal occasional disappointment like any other human being. Can I trust you, Ms. Lewis?”

The excuse for the delay is accepted with the aplomb of someone who is happy not to take a rescue even when she could probably use one. She doesnt enjoy living off anyone's charity, working for what she has. A special place is reserved for people who take things from her. She leans her body back against the chair, one leg comong up to fold over the other knee. When told he can read minds, she quirks a brow and makes a mental note to think about the raunchiest gay porn she's encountered if he tries without the curtsey of dinner and a movie first.

"Can you trust me? Isnt that a question you should be asking yourself? Or shield? They canned me for helping out in genosha. Ya'll picked me up for helping qith apocalypse and tryi g ro bring Pietro back from that. Im not the one to say if you can trust me or not. That's on you and your group," she says. Her eyes flick away from his, surveying the office as she talks.

"My stance hasnt changed. If yours has then i should go, si ce i have shift in two hours," she adds, magically refraining from cursing.

“Oh no, I rather have you telling me,” replies Xavier with a chuckle. “Working here is a bit more complicated that working in a restaurant. It is not so different to working for SHIELD, I suspect. We have rules, some are very strict rules. We have the goal to protect mutants and humans, often from extremist elements within society. And then there is the law, which we should respect too. And yet often we need to break the rules and the law to keep with the spirit of the rules and the law. To make everything more complex, we have a school full of children and protect them is our first priority.”

Ah yes, Genosha. The elephant in the room.

“Balancing duty, responsibility and humanity is often very hard,” explains Xavier. “Some of the X-Men can do it. Some do it better than me. Others, often young and reckless, are best reserved for just the field and disassociated from the school. Because if a member of the faculty breaks the law and gets caught, the whole school is endangered.”

“Again, duh. Law enforcement didn’t catch me. Law enforcement didn’t see my hand in any of it, because as far as law enforcement is considered, I wasn’t there. Was it illegal to reveal the information that I did? I don’t know, to be honest. It was in breach of my non-disclosure agreements and security clearance contracts with my former employer, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat if I had to go back and relive it. I’d do it again because I saw the supplies that came in and I saw the use they were put to. I personally handled much of the distribution. I saw the lives that it saved, and I’m not even remotely apologetic. I’m only sorry that I couldn’t help more, and that I got pulled away before I was done helping,” she says, back straight and gaze unwavering.

For all that she seems slumped in the chair, leaned back and disconnected with the conversation, Darcy is confident and calm about this topic, despite the still lingering feeling of frustration and anger at said employer for how she was treated. She recalls her few encounters with the Good Captain well, that steadfast self-assurance of purpose, the rock in the storm. It was perhaps a passing comment that all evil needs to thrive is for good people to do nothing, and that simply following orders is often the apathy that malice and oppression needs to take hold. Sometimes, doing the right thing means risking it all and acting against what everyone else says it right. Sometimes, it’s standing against the world and saying: No, you move.

“But you were caught,” adds Xavier. “Which left you unable to help more, Miss Lewis. If you allow an old man to give you some advice: Be more careful the next time. You could have done much good in SHIELD if you still had your position and the trust of your employers.”

He leans back on his wheelchair, and then continues, “I have known many agents of SHIELD along the years. I even met Nicholas Fury senior when I was young. I learned a few things from him. I know he got away with some things that were… justice, but illegal, many times. Almost all good agents have done so. He thought those who stick to the letter of the rules aren’t doing enough.”

"Yes. I did," Darcy says, owning up to that fact. That fact alone, that she lost her ability to help hurts so much more than anything else and it makes her lips press into a line.

"Okay. So…?" Darcy prompts, no longer sure where this is going. Not that she walked in with a closer idea to begun with. She'd been asked if she wanted to keep working here, that they'd welcome her. At least, that was her impression. She hadnt let herself get her hopes up. After all, she has a record now. The waitressing job was hard enough to land given that most employers refused to even call her back because of the sealed part of her past.

Old men ramble, don’t they? Or maybe Xavier is trying to make a point. “So? The X-Men are a vigilante team, they have been clandestine for most of the group existence. Now the government knows we are here, and that restricts us quite a bit,” he turns the wheelchair to glance through the window. “And the school has grown as the number of mutants has grown, we are in dire need of more people. Teaching staff, medical staff, researchers, technicians, lawyers, even cooks. In fact many of us have to do several of those tasks at once. You can have a position here, Ms. Lewis, we need you, but I need to trust you. I can’t give you an official position if you would act on your own like you did in Genosha. So. Next time. You have to tell your team.”

"If I told you, would you act? Would you talk to me about what we can and cant do? Would you work with me to make what needs to happen happen so I dont have to go rogue and strike out solo?" Darcy fires back. Because that was the issue for darcy, that she pushed and she pressed and she told her team and she gor brushed aside and then they hung her for it.

“That is what we do, Miss Lewis, we act when official agencies are unable, too slow or unwilling,” replies Xavier. “I have worked for the government and I know the limit of law-enforcement agencies, no matter how competent is the leadership. I formed the X-Men for a reason.” And the school came later, when it became obvious it was it or secret government super-soldier programs and ‘orphanages’.

“But, unless you are the team leader, you have to abide to the decisions they made. I can promise you, however, you will be listened and your opinion considered. You saw what we do when you were the liaison with SHIELD.” So the question is, “I believe we could find a place for a woman of your courage and skills, Ms. Lewis, do you want to work here under these conditions?”

Darcy is silent, head tilting as she considers the middle aged man before her.

"I did see what you all do. And I can abide by decisions i'm involved in, that im not blown off on. Talk to me, work with me, and i'll work with you under whatever conditions are needed," she states.

Xavier smiles again, “welcome to the team, Ms. Lewis,” he says, looking relieved. “I will email you an official contract for you to peruse and so you can receive a fair remuneration. Official school matters are to be managed to the letter of the law, but the rest… well, it is a complicated tangle and we work closely with Worthington Industries lawyers and accountants, as well as a certain private contractor in Dallas. If you aim to a teacher position, the school will pay for your certification program.”

He leans back, “I suppose that is all…” then he remembers something, “oh… and please, be careful with your language around the children.” Yes. Even Xavier has heard about Darcy’s mouth!

"Around the kids, always," Darcy quips on a wicked grin. "Around the adults that act like kids? No promises."

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