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 Our Memories Of Trust Will Ruin Us, [tag : Marvel Girl]
Havok
 Posted: Feb 19 2013, 03:22 PM
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First Issue!

It seemed like only yesterday that Alex Summers was winding his way up the paved driveway towards Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters for the first time, through the towering iron gates and the polished brass plaque, headlights casting a jaundice light over the huge mansion's stone facade. Months, however, had passed. A season had given way to another and died, re-enacting the endless drama of life that would live on until the glaciers advance once more and freeze over the earth's crust. Alex remembered feeling frigid, retracing that path to the porch which several hesitant mutants had traced before, using the brass knocker to signal to any who might be within earshot of the foyer. The memory was sharp and clear in his mind, though much had happened since then. For one, Alex had finally settled down into his role as a teacher and member of Xavier's response team, quaintly dubbed 'the X-Men'. A degree of tension, of course, prevailed in his personal life at the mansion: contact with his brother Scott – the golden boy and the response team's leader in the field – had been brief and tense at best. Neither sibling was willing to broach a détente; Alex, for his part, refusing to give an inch to his arrogant elder brother.

More recently, he had spent large amounts of his free time reflecting hard on the Professor's offer to take charge of the 'youth team' – the student reserves who had chosen for themselves the monicker 'New Mutants'. His initial response had been hesitant to say the least – he feared Xavier was making a mistake in assuming he could be anything like his brother. The Professor was, however, a powerful telepath, and Alex reminded himself of this fact while he mulled over the offer. If he wasn't totally sure of his potential to handle the responsibility, he wouldn't have offered it to him. Still, when Alex finally did accept the position, his reasons – which he kept to himself – were Summers-centric. Maybe he could prove himself to be Scott's equal, or better. Given the Professor's love for his brother, Alex was going to do anything he could to worm his way into the good books too.

And hence why he now found himself navigating the interstate with Xavier's other beloved disciple, Jean Grey, in the passenger seat, with one of the school's brightest and most introverted pupils in the back. Danny was a 16-year-old shapeshifter who often used his powers to blend into the scenery and disappear in school, something that hadn't escaped Alex's notice during the Geology module that Danny had elected to take. It was a small class, where the boy's crippling social anxiety was particularly noticeable. Most of Danny's other teachers were preoccupied with much bigger groups, and perhaps less finely tuned to notice a disorder than the younger Summers brother, who had retreated into his shell as a result of bullying during high school… until, of course, that fateful day when his powers had manifested. Alex had brought the issue before Charles, who agreed that something needed to be done. Alex wasn't convinced that counseling was the answer, but the Professor scheduled one or two sessions with psych major Jean Grey anyway.

And over the past weeks, Alex had to admit, there had been some notable improvements in Danny's general demeanor. The crux of the problem, however, seemed to be the negative reaction of the boy's parents when Xavier had brought his School into the public domain. Coming from a family of Irish heritage, Danny said his parents were closed-minded Catholics, and had been unaware of his mutation. He said they were threatening to pull him out of the school. If he wouldn't come home, they said, he would be cut off – abandoned. Alex was concerned, to say the least; though the word 'indignant' was perhaps more honest. All the same, for maturity's sake, he bottled up his identification with the boy – as much as possible, that is – and asked Jean if she thought it would be a good idea to visit the Fitzpatrick home to speak to Danny's parents. The Professor would only acquiesce if Danny himself felt up to making the five-hour round journey to his family home in suburban Philadelphia, to face what would no doubt be a difficult conversation, but trusted Jean to handle the situation.

And so Danny hesitantly decided it was time to speak face to face with his parents – after some encouragement from Alex – and, days later, they were embarking on the present road trip, stocking Alex's black '69 Camaro with snacks that barely touched one of the major food groups, let alone all five. As might be expected from a car ride with Alex, conversation was slow at first, but for Jean's sake he decided to be the least stubborn of the two introverts in the car. Flicking on the radio, he called to his student in the back seat: "Yo Danny, I've seen you with those punk t-shirts in class – you ever listen to any proper old school classic rock?" His words were followed by a meaningful glance to Jean in the passenger seat – almost like an advance apology for exposing her to what she was about to have to sit through – as he waited for Danny's response. "Classic rock? Tell me you don't mean, like, Journey or something…"

"No. Not that there's anything wrong with Journey... Anyway, feast your ears. Here's a little Zeppelin, circa 1975." Danny returned with a quip about Alex not even being born in '75 but he was promptly shushed – in as friendly a way as possible – as the first notes of Kashmir took hold over the stereo. Alex turned it up a notch and may have even bit his lip and drummed his hands on the steering wheel a little as Jimmy Page began to shred the solo. When it was over he turned the stereo back down and looked in the rear-view mirror. "So? Good, right?" Danny was trying hard to seem unimpressed, looking out the window as he murmured: "It... wasn't bad." Alex laughed a little, shaking his head. "I think you're too cool for this School, man. Maybe we should send you back to Philly. Tell you what, though, I'm gonna play out the rest of this record in the background, and if you don't wanna borrow this record by the end of our trip, then I'll buy you the album of your choice myself. On vinyl, or whatever you kids collect these days." Danny agreed. Alex tilted his head to the side a little and shrugged towards the redhead in the passenger seat. "Sorry. Boys. You know how it is."

This post has been edited by Havok: Feb 19 2013, 05:22 PM
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Jean Grey
 Posted: Feb 20 2013, 05:14 AM
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[Debut]

The car window was cracked, guiding in the cool zephyr's of the season, the door's manual lever had put up some fight at first, enough struggle to where it had taken the use of both of Jean's arms and a gently defiant shake of her head at Alex's offer to help before she could operate it sufficiently in order to allow a few inches space where the frame, glass and rubber sealant had met moments before. In the warmth of the rising sun Jean's hair was an exodus of freefalling tendrils that caught the light in an array of honeyed melons and cherry citrizines as she settled herself more comfortably in the passenger's side. It was getting long, trailing a few inches below the shoulder, never losing its luster even in the bleaching sunlight of the summer months - and, as always, her smoky, green eyes were the perfect compliment, along with her full lips and that lightly freckled complexion. She didn't tan well, not really, she broiled like a lobster first and it was never a pretty thing, but afterwards, after the aloe and the mild fevers she peeled tan...ish. Some choice, huh.

The chilled breeze mingling with the electrostatic hum of the car's heated interior was pleasant enough at the time, for it meant Jean wouldn't have to worry about adjusting the temperature to keep herself sated (she was always the one who needed a sweater or a jacket even mid summer) and bothering the other two who seemed quite at home. Glancing at Alex from the corner of her vision she once again took notice of the way he tapped his hands along the steering wheel when he spoke, the gesticulations of his fingers to the beat of the radio, the way his eyes went from cloudy grey to blue ice from this vantage point. For a moment she felt herself pondering the similarities between him and Scott...the musculature, the dead-set expression, the...

No, no use in it. She swiveled her neck the other direction, cutting him off from view, completely satisfied with studying the passerby. However Alex's quick interjection that broke the silence shattered her reverie, causing the vermilion woman to retract instinctively, a slight jump that she attempted to play off as a raised stretching motion of her forearms overhead with wrists clasped then lowered to fold beneath her breasts; her retreat of daydreaming and warm sunlight abandoned in the budding conversation of the moment. Wait, what? Classic Rock? She gave Alex her best supportive attempt, screwing on her best smile, but the truth was...the repetitive cymbal clashes and frenetic guitar solos were something he also shared with Scott and her disfavor of the genre hadn't changed at all. She was just too polite to say any differently.

It seemed she and Danny had a lot in common.

oOo High five, Danny oOo, she directed to the younger boy's mind while simultaneously giving Alex a pitying glance when she hoped he wasn't looking. Danny added his own hoopla to the mix, wiping away the astonishment that often came with those unaccustomed to telepathy as he chortled and she turned to lean over the armrest to slap their palms together in celebratory motion before turning around again. Their sarcastic fun was cut short by the familiar twang and thwarp of the electric guitar that she could only guess had to do with the comment Alex had maid that overlay her and Danny's own exchange earlier, and Jean did jump this time, bringing her hands to her ears during the whole ordeal, wondering if Danny was braving the record track any better than she was. After what seemed an eternity and more than her fair share of pained looks out the window the dial was turned down and Alex's treble-bass was once again addressing Danny and the young boy seceded, albeit grudgingly. oOo Traitor oOo Jean broadcast teasingly, this time making it her mission to relay it to both of their minds. If Alex pulled that smug "I'm sorry did you say something? What was that?" stunt that drove her crazy she swore she'd teasingly elbow his ribs.

The silence partially resumed between the three as the younger mutant located yet another bag of chips (she'd have to rectify that on the next pit stop with at least the supplement of some kind of granola bar or healthy trail mix) so Jean took this opportunity to point out the window suddenly on Alex's side of the car - disrupting all of his attempt to designate the music to the gender ordained. "Wait! Did we just miss our exit?" Hastily she clicked the dial to another station and did her best to innocently gaze out her own window while he was distracted. Hear no, speak no, see no. Right? "Oh, nevermind. Just kidding. Must've been a lie." Danny, having seen what she had done, strained with his seat belt in hand in order to dart out his palm to where she could slap it back, inconspicuously.

oOo Jean, dos. Summer's, nothin' oOo


This post has been edited by Jean Grey: Feb 21 2013, 07:01 PM
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Havok
 Posted: Feb 20 2013, 06:29 AM
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The sun was hanging low in the sky, as it was wont to do in Winter, and its rays penetrated the car windows almost horizontally. Alex adjusted his sunglasses as they crept down the bridge of his nose a few centimeters and tried to shift his eyes away from the wisps of fiery hair fluttering around on the passenger side, Jean's naturally vibrant strands being set ablaze by the winter sun. The different tones of red danced on the air like sparks, but Alex didn't notice that. Nope. Not at all. Zeppelin, come on. What more could a guy want? Yet still he glanced in the rear view mirror, in his driver's side wing mirror, at the road in front, at his hands on the steering wheel, everywhere but to his right hand side. He felt the cool wind blowing in the window and causing the hairs on the back of his neck to stand up, while his beard stubble bristled slightly. He ran his hand over his jaw, removing it from the wheel for a moment. The car was manual transmission, as all classic cars should be, but the interstate was free-flowing, so gear changes were few and far between - which made for plain sailing. It almost felt like he was driving an automatic.

And then Jean spoke – in his head – and instantly drew Alex's gaze. Didn't she know not to surprise a driver? He looked back to the thankfully open road ahead and muttered, almost under his breath but not quite: "Sometimes I forget you can talk in people's heads." And then she did the unforgivable, distracting him again before switching the stereo from CD to Radio, cutting off Robert Plant's velvet voice and replacing it with some harsh modern pop nonsense. He shook his head from side to side, his mouth twisting up into a lop-sided smirk in amusement at her tactics. She hadn't fought pretty, but she'd won. At least, she thought she had. "See Danny, what we have here is a young woman actively repressing her wild teenage years by pretending not to love that dirty big reverb. She doesn't want us to know that the chunky bass gets her blood flowing faster. Ain't that right, Sigmund?" he quipped in Jean's direction, playing on the idea of repression and making fun of her training in psychology, something he had little faith in on a personal level. He could never reconcile the problems that real people faced in the day-to-day with the Freudian and Jungian nonsense about incestuous desires and 'shadow aspects'. For Alex, the world was a lot more tangible and immediate than that… and, contra the good Professor Freud, not every man wanted to sleep with his mother. Each to their own, though… well, sort of.

Nonetheless, repression in a conscious sense was real enough; and though he barely knew Jean, it wasn't without the realms of possibility that there was a bad girl in there somewhere, just dying to get out. Alex knew he was missing the mark a little, but it was fun to antagonize. "It's okay, Jean, you can tell us," he insisted, glancing sideways. "What happens across the border stays across the border." Danny seemed to be enjoying the banter from the back seat. Alex was glad for it, too; the kid's anxiety was almost palpable in such close quarters, so anything that could be done to alleviate the situation was welcome. Especially if it meant pushing Marvel Girl's buttons a little bit. The banter helped to pass the time, too, which was certainly flying; before long, they were closing in on the outskirts of Philadelphia, by which point Danny had pretty much killed the snack quota for the entire journey, which meant that his sugar coma threat level had leap-frogged orange and careened straight to code red. They were about fifteen minutes out when Alex thought it might be a good idea to call ahead and check that somebody was home, in case they needed to hang back a little. They could even grab some food, if needs be - not that Danny needed any. "Hey kid, you wanna give your mom and dad a call?" the blonde X-Man said to the sugared-up passenger in the back seat. "Just let 'em know we're paying a visit."

He turned down the radio, interrupting a national news segment about a group lobbying for a bronze statue of billionaire playboy Tony Stark sans Iron Man armor, to commemorate his philanthropic work in helping to rebuild the twice-ravaged Big Apple. As if his ego needed more inflating, Alex thought to himself. "I figure it's better this way," he said quietly to Jean as the boy dialed his home number on his smart phone and waited for somebody to pick up. "We need to know they're home, and I figured it might be wise if we give them some forewarning." It couldn't hurt, at least; right? Before long Danny was speaking to someone on the other end, and Alex tried to listen in, but could only catch glimpses. It didn't sound like the family patriarch, Aaron Fitzpatrick, was taking the news too well. The prospect of meddling mutants inviting themselves into the family home and interfering in private family business was maybe too much for Danny's parents to abide. "They're my teachers, dad," Alex heard the young mutant insist. He shot a sidelong glance at Jean: that didn't sound good, his creased brow seemed to say. "Dad, please, don't be--" The call had ended, but Danny didn't speak. He didn't need do. Nor did Alex need to look in the rearview mirror to see how his father's tone had effected him.

"Better put your game face on, Grey," Havok said, changing lanes to exit the interstate.
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Jean Grey
 Posted: Feb 21 2013, 08:19 PM
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The flick of the radio station did her puckish nature justice. It was the side of Jean seldom seen but legendary in full force -- if you wanted the low down you'd have to drag it out of her or hit up Storm for specifics. Alex was thoughtful...enough, for a man, but she was a woman and she listened, capable of multitasking to maximum efficiency so while idly inspecting her fingernails she caught wind of his under-the-breath astonishment as well as his Sigmund break down. He surprised her with his knowledge (even if truth be told it was intro to Psych 101) and she suppressed the urge to shoot him a quasi-incredulous glance, instead, sacrificing her subtle silence in order to join in with the banter. She had taken the bait - hook, line and sinker. "Even if I did have something to tell, Alex..." She let her neck loll, head tilted back, chin angling to the ceiling and closing her eyes, reaching up with lithe hands to massage her shoulders and the back of her neck.

"I'd choose junior back there over you any day for keeping my secrets safe. Assuming that's alright with you, big D? What is it you always say? I'm a vault, baby, locked doowwnn." She was teasing, the nicknames something she wouldn't have initiated under any other circumstance nor the imitation but it lightened the mood further and Danny certainly ate it up, slapping his knee and guffawing, while Jean reached out to rest a hand against Alex's upon the steering wheel, patting it twice and hesitating perhaps a few moment too long, her fingers curling towards her palm as the hand was lowered to rest back at her sides. Truth be told she trusted him fine. Jean was not an easy woman to get to know - on the contrary one of the most complicate - but sentimentality was deserved in this instance for sheer sake that he had been there lately when others weren't. Had given her what she needed, versus what they thought was best. He allowed her the company without the pressure of any talking at all, any emotional out-pour, perfectly capable and content with the proximity of another individual without the need for quasi-copacetic commiserating.

The touch had been an act of feeling quite not so alone for that moment - and in retrospect, the small smile tugging at the corners of her full lips - a convenient further act of mischief (in those moments, Jean had felt closer to her true self than she had in months). She also took the opportunity to shift the semi-intimate moment with an added nod to Alex's suggestion of letting Daniel's parents know they were approaching their neighborhood. Jean let Danny take the opportunity to contact his parents; finally giving him the opportunity to address and speak with them on truly a metaphysical level. Sure she was in the car, but in their sessions they had accomplished much simply by conquering obstacles together. As a psion she offered therapy at behest of Xavier (and often only with his explicit say so) at an unprecedented level. She could sense and see within the human mind; see the ticks and tocs and snags and processes. She could alter and fix them. The last bit she was forbidden to do, Charles said that was far beyond her experience at best, and at the least a reason for alarm as it would most certainly, without the most infinite and delicate of touches, result in a large variety of debilitating or digressive instances and outcomes. But. She. Could. Do. It. A world of possibilities all at her whim, one day, some day. Soon.

"Remember what we discussed, Danny? You are in control here - not your parents. If you don't like what you hear, or are scared for any reason - or uncomfortable you let me know. We understand and will turn this car right back around. Okay?" A glance was spared for Alex, a tucking motion for the rogue strands of ember curl that had strayed across her vision. The radio was tinnying in the background, Jean ignored it, watching Danny's facial expression, feeling his anxiety and unease and giving him a smile. She turned around a few moments later to give him some semblance of privacy, grimacing and fighting the urge to take control of the conversation when it clearly didn't go the way they intended.

A fine trickle of power, a shimmering, solid piece of soft psionic tendril drifted from Jean. It shimmered, powerful and thin, fluttering backwards to Jimmy's mind, a torus of glinting essence that flexed in on its own strand as it slowly unraveled, forming a glistening net that nestled delicately across his synapses. Jean left his clarity of thought alone entirely, she was not there to intrude, merely to solidify their therapy, reinstating the sense of peace and wholeness they had been working on all of these sessions as well as the healthy vibrance he had become disassociated with on a veritable basis; instead finding intense, heightened periods of stress a psychosomatic reasoning for his bodily vitals to tank. Danny's breathing became less shallow, the stressors in his voice signifying a more calm status of being, the pulse in his csrotid become less frenetic. Moment by moment the conversation was not a pretty one - Jean's earlier shushing gesture to Alex's commentary stopping mid-wave with the familiar loud angry buzzing then click over the phone. Making sure that Danny was asymptomatic before she retracted her aide, Jean ground her teeth silently. Defiantly patient to let the situation unfurl. In her opinion there was only some much poking and prodding at the patient the medical professional could do. Generally speaking, people were their own sweet medicine. So why did most healing pathways necessitate the act of swallowing a bitter pill of the long painful recovery also involved.

This post has been edited by Jean Grey: Feb 23 2013, 09:35 PM
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Havok
 Posted: Feb 22 2013, 12:32 PM
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The atmosphere in the car grew tense as soon as Danny's conversation had ended; the silence was fecund with expectation, but nobody said anything for a long time. At first, there was something close to silence; just the dull sound of a mild wind from outside exerting itself against the forward momentum of the car. But then a siren emerged from the void, starting small and then evolving, piercing the aether and drawing Alex's attention to the rear-view and wing mirrors to find the source. A squad car was flying up the central lane towards the same exit as Alex's Camaro, with just two or three cars between. He braced himself for a signal to pull over, as the squad car weaved between the other cars, but it never came. Alex allowed himself the luxury of a curious glance sideways on the exit ramp as the police car departed the interstate in the left lane, rounding Alex and speeding ahead, sirens still sounding. He glanced sideways at Jean, who seemed on-edge, grinding her teeth at the prospect of meeting the boy's parents. He then spared a glance in the rear-view mirror, to find that their back-seat passenger was looking paler than usual; his eyes fixed on an invisible, unmoving spot out the side window of the car. "It's gonna be okay, buddy," Alex said, attempting to reassure the boy. "We'll work this out. Hang in there."

Alex had appreciated Jean's rapport with the kid, even it had been at his own expense. It would do Danny some good, he thought, to have this attractive older woman for a confidante. The sexual frustration that was inherent through the years of puberty (for young men, at least) was a powerful force, as Alex could personally attest; with a mentor like Jean, Alex was quite sure Danny would have plenty to occupy his mind through some of his more difficult hours, and it might encourage him to open up to her. Still, in spite of her little jokes at Alex's expense, Jean's compassion was as triumphant as ever, reaching out to reassure him, perhaps as much jokingly as sympathetically… but the soft brush of her warm fingers had felt soothing, like a drop of water on the tongue at a desert spring, before lingering too long. Alex's eyes had drifted across to hers for a moment, his expression ambiguous at best, until Jean removed her hand. He'd hoped that Danny hadn't noticed in the back, knowing how sharp he was. It wouldn't do for anybody to get the wrong impression.

Before long, though, Alex had Danny phoning home. Eyes off the road, he'd watched Jean concentrating hard as the boy talked to his father on his cellphone. He didn't have to ask, and she didn't have to say – he knew by the intensity of her expression that she was practicing her telepathy, even before the thin streak of ethereal psionic energy manifested from her mind and drifted in the aether towards Danny in the backseat. An incredulous breath had escaped Alex's nostrils, never having seen such a visible display of power from a telepath in such close quarters. It was… strangely beautiful. Something about it seemed to sum Jean up, also: the elegance, the empathy, the delicacy… and yet she had been showing Alex lately just how bold and brazen she could be, both in the use of her powers to influence Danny's correspondence with his parents, and in her general banter with Alex. It was a side of her that had slipped out a few times in the past weeks, as they'd been getting to know each other better, but it was not something he would have suspected before. Jean was the Professor's golden girl, the teacher's pet, groomed to be the perfect other half for Scott. At least, that's how everybody imagined her. But she was so much more than that… evidently.

Alex's attempt to reassure Danny after the rather ominous conclusion to his phone conversation didn't seem to have helped, but that was hardly surprising. He wasn't the trained psychologist, after all. He opted to keep shtum for the rest of the journey, seeing as they were only minutes away from their destination. Alex bypassed the city of brotherly love and made for Danny's neighborhood in Chester, to the south-west of the great metropolis of Philadelphia itself. They passed a motel on the outskirts of town, which was about the most American thing about the place; otherwise, it had a somewhat European vibe, which added to quaint, old-fashioned feel of the town. For instance, when Danny told Alex to "turn right at the grocery store", and instead of a Walmart, there was a small shop front with the words 'Grocery Store' emblazoned above the doors… and nothing else. Danny's neighborhood was nice, though; the kind of middle-class haven that Alex grew up in during his time with the Blanding family in Nebraska. The sprinkler-fed gardens and extended porches brought him back. "Up here on the right," Danny said, apprehensively. "The house with the green trim on the eaves." And no sooner had Alex pulled up at the house than Danny's father, Aaron Fitzpatrick, bounded out the front door and down the drive, headed towards them. Alex stepped out of the car, at which point the taller man halted in his step, keeping a 'safe' distance. "You people have no right to show up at our home like this. No right," Danny's father said.

"We're here on behalf of your son. And where his family is concerned, he has plenty of rights."
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Jean Grey
 Posted: Feb 24 2013, 07:26 PM
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Alex had a brusque and hasty touch to social situations that with any other person would have probably been enough to drive them to cursing beneath their breath. However, Jean in all of her patience albeit mired deeply in the drama that was unfolding showed her own consternation with a smooth squaring of shoulders as the gentle glide of a walk brought her past Alex's position by the jeep, though on the opposing side, to halt a few meter's within the yard line but still far enough away from Danny's father as to cause him to do something hasty. She wasn't afraid but for the younger boy's sake hoped the situation wouldn't accelerate any further for a brief telepathic probe revealed Danny's anxiety levels skyrocketing all over again and soiling her efforts - and for that she was getting testy. Calm voice then, calm. Hands raised gently, tone soft and consoling. Eyes sparking emerald, her irises ambient in the overhead sunlight, her sclera thrown into a contrast of undertones where the iris broach the mottled iridium. oOo Alex, please, let me handle this. He won't hurt me. He's just scared. oOo Jean broadcast simultaneously as she spoke, nearing Danny's father, a brief pursing of her lips proceeding what she hoped would be a peace talk. Bitter peace beats good war and all of that.

"Mr. Fitzpatrick, my name is Jean Grey. Your wife and I met when she first dropped Danny off at the Institute and have spoken a few times over the phone since then. Please, sir, I can assure you my colleague and I mean you both no harm." She added as an after thought, gesturing to her counterpart, hoping that Alex would put on his best impression of non-imposing. Which the telepath doubted was even possible, as for all of his sculpted and attractive brawn - aesthetically appeasing as it was - momentarily, at least, it had it's vices as well in that he often towered...and glowered, but that was another conversation for a later time.

"Do you remember me, Evelyn? Our afternoon tea in the gardens?" Jean interwove her question into the initial address in some hopes of triggering Aaron's softer convictions - drawing upon what she hoped was a tethered link of his wife's love and affirmation (something both her studies, experience and abilities had taught her) in order to detract some of the tension - her gaze angling to the screen door where Danny's mother was watching silently, a pained expression painting her pleasantly aging features. Aaron cast glances over his shoulder, noting the pain, but never ceasing his brazen affront. She struggled not to knit her brows in disapproval and instead kept speaking. "You both should know we are here today at Danny's request. He would like to speak with you about a few things. However, as a representative of the campus, Danny's counselor and, per legalities, one of the allotted officials charged with his care in your absence; I have to question if you both are willing to sit down and speak with us calmly. Not to imply that you would do your own son harm..." She continued calmly, smothering Evelyn's muted sobs and Aaron's ferocious huffing. His fists were no longer pointed accusatory, but balled at his sides, and while Jean's eyes did not lower to watch them one might watch a venomous pest that needed to be killed, and quickly, she did ready herself to engage if the situation arose.

From this close the lawn was manicured perfection, freshly painted, the hinges of the door had a sheen that hinted of freshly oiled and on the surface, at least, everything seemed at hand. Nice enough family, a bit gesticulative and feisty to their son's differences which she could understand and work with. But it was her psychic tendrils that she inverted so as to not alarm the man and his wife, crafting them invisibly and letting them ripple across the two adult's psyche's that revealed a different story entirely. Jean delved into her mutational abilities with a fervor in most situations, in part because it came naturally even from a young age, and also in part because it was something resolute, stolid, something that made sense and brought clarity from all perspectives. It made her feel omniscient. And in that moment she was infinite.

The knowledge came in bursts, flashbacks of understanding that played before Jean's eyes in scarcely a second, but it was more than enough for her to understand how they had come to this country to start a new future, risked being shunned by the Catholic church for their more invasive attributes to the Protestant ways. All of their struggles and hopes and dreams and fears. The joy that had bloomed within both of their hearts at seeing their child, buried beneath a mountain of distrust and fear. And all of it tinged with unease and anger, a malevolent, choking vine that threaded through them, squandering what opportunity they would have if Jean didn't appeal to their compassion further, remind them of the bond between them and child that went beyond just the cellular level. For good measure she reached out to Alex's mind, connecting the two and letting him experience what it was she saw. Her connection lit up the two of them in an instant, something cohesive and intangible, a unison, metaphysical link that she allowed to transcend just knowledge, but to feeling, letting him truly feel what she felt from them, see what she saw, giving him a leyline into the cogs and gears of her persona that, until now, had been reserved for a fair few. She was tempted to reach out to him then, afraid to pull back those rapports, afraid of what he might transmit in return -- she hadn't geared her mind to receive, only give, for his own privacy.

"Aaron? May I call you that? Do we have permission to come inside?"


This post has been edited by Jean Grey: Feb 24 2013, 08:06 PM
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Jean Grey
 Posted: Feb 25 2013, 05:52 PM
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This post has been edited by Jean Grey: Feb 25 2013, 08:41 PM
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Havok
 Posted: Feb 26 2013, 04:02 PM
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Scared was one word for it, Alex thought to himself bitterly. There was, perhaps, reason to sympathize ever so slightly with the Fitzpatricks. Most parents of Xavier's School students had agreed to let their mutant children join up in full knowledge of the school's purpose, and their progeny's genetic mutations. The Fitzpatricks, however, were unaware of their children's cellular uniqueness, and had to find out about Danny's differences via the press statement prepared by Charles and Erik. All they had known was that Professor Xavier had personally hand-picked Danny from a large pool of students nationwide due to this exceeding potential; which was, of course, the truth. Just not the whole truth, which is perhaps why Aaron Fitzpatrick was now so perturbed. Alex's sympathy didn't stretch far, however: the Fitzpatricks' reaction to their son's mutation reminded him far too much of his foster family's attitude to the emergence of his own genetic differences.

He knew what Jean meant, however, when she pleaded with him to let her handle it, and she was right to take charge; Alex's antagonistic stance wasn't going to help them to reach an agreement with the Fitzpatricks over the future of their son at Xavier's School. Still, for Alex, this was a subject much too close to home and much too personal to defer to pure reason and better judgment on, and so he decided that the best stance to take for now would be to bite his tongue and defer instead to Jean. She was, after all, the senior X-Man present, and a much softer touch to boot. He watched her turn her attention to the mother, having spotted her on the porch, and he almost smiled; good tactic. He wasn't surprised to find that Jean had spoken to Evelyn Fitzpatrick over the phone several times, however. Jean was the sympathetic type – whether by virtue of her telepathic abilities, or as a general attitude trait – and if anyone from the faculty was going to reach out to the Fitzpatricks to explain Danny's situation, Alex's money was on Jean.

"Danny's counselor?" Aaron Fitzpatrick replied, teeth gritted so tight Alex thought that one of them might break in half. Evelyn proceeded from beyond the screen door, however, and took tentative steps towards her husband. "Aaron, please, the neighbors can hear you," she entreated him, reaching out and laying her hand on his arm. His eyes shifted to one side and his demeanor calmed somewhat. Her ability to calm him, and the love that the obviously had for her, would have touched Alex, in any other situation. Danny's father even seemed to take Jean's offer of a private, adult conversation, and reasoned negotiation, seriously for a moment – perhaps owing to his wife's influence. His resolve seemed to waver; calmer now, he ushered his wife back towards the house while the two teachers stood patiently waiting for his reply – well, at least Jean was patiently waiting. Alex was quietly tapping his foot, leaning against the car door, and obviously his colleague could sense the tension oozing from his every pore, because she chose that moment to forge a telepathic link with him, transmitting some of what she was skimming from the Fitzpatricks' minds – their difficult history, their present emotions, the turmoil that Danny's father was experiencing within.

Alex looked at Aaron differently then – at least for a moment. The man even seemed compliant, prompting Alex to wonder if Jean had tried to telepathically influence his will… that is, until Danny got out of the car, and all the sympathy that Alex had for him soon evaporated. "Dad…?" the younger Fitzpatrick muttered, sounding nervous. Aaron motioned for Danny to go and join his mother on the porch, composing himself and standing his ground before Alex and Jean, even pointing an aggressive finger at them both, as if it were somehow their fault that the Fitzpatricks had conceived a mutant. "Absolutely not. You're coming nowhere near this family again, and since you're now trespassing on my property I would ask you to leave. We don't need your advice. We will decide as a family what should be done about Daniel's… condition."

Alex's features twisted into a bilious sneer directed at Danny's father as he took a step forward, halting before his proximity could be misconstrued as a physical threat. He knew that the last thing they needed was a 'mutant situation', and that Charles would never forgive him for inciting violence in a relatively peaceful suburban Pennsylvanian town, but he refused to stand back altogether and bite his tongue anymore. "Condition…? Your son is not sick. Far from it. He's a smart kid and he's got a lot to give, but the reality is he can barely stand being in a room with other human beings… and that's on you. It's on you and your judgement. I mean, you wanna spite myself and Jean and the other people like us that genuinely care for Danny's well-being? Fine. We can take whatever you've got, and then some. But spiting your only son, just because he's different – just because he's not 'perfect' in your eyes – will be the biggest mistake of your life." And then he stood off, getting back in the car, so as to diffuse the situation somewhat and acquiesce to Fitzpatrick's wishes – for now.

This post has been edited by Havok: Feb 26 2013, 04:04 PM
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