|What: Logan gathers the team to touch base and reconnect after a difficult few months, and one member turns out to have a few things to get off his chest.|
Since Jean's return, Logan has been busy--not with keeping tabs on her progress, but with writing up memos - paper memos - and circulating them amongst the team and Kwabena Odame, their guest in recent weeks; thanks to a phone number helpfully supplied by the latter, another new ally, the former Brotherhood member Rogue was contacted.
In all cases, the message was the same: meet Logan in the War Room and bring beer. In Rogue's case, directions leading to a dirt trail a ways away from the Institute were included to lead her to the base while bypassing the mansion.
As teammates and comrades arrive, they'll find Logan with his feet propped up on the conference table, right next to a 23-pack of La Fin Du Monde; each'll receive a nod, or a brisk salute, or a few gruff, barely voiced syllables as greeting.
To be honest, Rogue looks like she is rather out of her element here. As nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs as the saying goes. But she promised herself she would come and had been meaning to call for a tour anyhow after metting some of the X-members previously to now anyhow so... yes, here she is. The former Brotherhood member is currently standing to one side, hands clasped behind her.
With a wince, Scott Summers checks out the internal bleeding in the mirror of the basement locker room. That's gonna hurt for a while. He shrugs into a loose fitting overshirt with a bit of a struggle and takes one last long look in the mirror. Time to see what Logan has in store. Though he has never quite seen eye to eye with the berserker, Scott cannot deny he's a powerful ally. And to his credit, the Canadian could have done a lot more gloating a couple of months ago.
Scott enters the room carrying a bottle of wine and a case containing glassware. "Evening Logan. Who's all coming to this?" It's then that he sees Rogue. "Oh. Hi. Didn't see you there."
"I'm Scott." Scott looks to Logan, clearly perplexed.
Piotr brings no beer; he brings a bottle of Vodka. And a shot glass for himself. Anyone else can fend for themselves or just drink from the bottle. If the meetings ends up going as long as he suspects it might, he might end up skipping the shot glass himself. As he arrives, he greets everyone by name except for Rogue who gets a stare and then he's looking to Logan.
'Bring beer' is translated out into the German for the German as 'bring good beer', and Hacker Pschorr it is. Kurt's got a six pack tucked under his arm as he enters the war room after Scott and Piotr. "It is what was left of the Oktoberfest. So, I took that." He catches a seat, and sits back to relax, looking over his shoulder to Rogue. "Kommen.. und sit next to me. No one bites here." He nods towards Logan, "Not even him.. not when he has a beer in his hand."
Of course it figures that memo would get to the med bay. It even figures that a certain someone in there may very well have woken up not long before getting it. And considering what just happened the other night, it probably isn't ideal for this person to be up, let alone out of the med lab.
But considering who's calling this meeting, she feels she has to be here. After all, Logan wouldn't do something like this without a reason. A good reason. Hence why Jean Grey ends up wandering in. Only as she enters she does so without a word, and moves to take a seat away from most of the others who do get nods in greeting. yes, even Rogue.
You paged Rogue with 'Are you okay with assuming Logan at least knows Rogue's name? I can't remember if they were introduced during the Latveria scene.'
Warren did think twice before accepting the invitation to show up. He did not, however, bring beer. He stands near the entrance, leaning against the wall as he looks at Rogue...a relative stranger...in the War Room. "I take it that this isn't going to be any sort of usual meeting. No offense, Logan, but I would have liked to have been asked before any secret I had was released." Not that his wings are a secret, but a secret War Room and group of Mutants gathered? It doesn't take much to potentially figure things out.
Beast has been a rare sight in the mansion as of late. Since his transformation he's spent most of his time in Africa, other than a few rare appearances at the mansion and spending some time in Metropolis. So it's likely a shock that he even shows up... but Scott had to give him the puppy eyes and drag him back from Africa.
Beast actually follows Scott into the room, but does not contribute to the booze stockpile. It's 2 12-Packs of Pepsi Throwback. For those who prefer or simply choose not to drink. There's also a couple boxes of Twinkies from Hank's private stash that get tossed on the table. Hank offers a light bob of his head to Logan before finding a seat. "Logan. You'll be happy to know that I've discovered a newfound love of Canada." After all, the do still make Twinkies up there.
Once everyone else has made their way into the War Room, Hank offers a lazy wave and leans back... looking to Logan to see what's on his mind. "So Scruffy, tell us what's on your mind."
With aa case of chilled beers, Bobby arrives in the war room with a joke ready. Opening his mouth to deliver the joke, he stops when he sees Rogue in the room and looks around at the others. "Okay...was there a second page to the memo that I missed?" he asks, sitting down and popping the cap on one of his beers.
Scott is looked at and she smiles, Rogue's nerves showing through in the gesture. "Ah'm Rogue," she offers while extending one gloved hand, her manners not forgotten. "It's nice to meet you..." Kurt's invite gets her to turn her head in his direction and then she turns her gaze at Warren, the smile fading as his protest hits home. "Don't worry," she tries to assure him. "Ah'm good at keepin' secrets. Ain't goin' to say anything." Kurt is not yet joined as she keeps to her feet, staying put in case people decide she should leave.
Even Kurt has been known to drink, and now is simply one of those occasions. He leans forward to pop the top off the bottle (no cans, please!), and offers a salute before the first swallow is taken. "Warren, I dare think that perhaps her secret is as secure in your hands as yours is in hers." He nods towards Rogue and smiles, "Gloves?" There's always a reason for things, even if he doesn't know, he is observant. "Kommen-sie.. and sit down, fraulein."
"Rolled out with some of us in Latveria," Logan lowly adds to the southern belle's introduction. He jerks a thumb towards Kwabena Odame, who filtered in quietly with the rest of the group and quickly staked himself out some prime brooding real estate in the corner. "Him, too, but he's been around a little while."
With that, the old man brings both hands back, laces them behind his head and continues, "Last I heard, Chuck's monitorin' somethin' or another overseas; couldn't be with us in person, but he gave us his blessing," and then looks to Beast for a moment before sweeping his eyes around the assembled group.
"Been a hell of a year," he says. "An' if I know anything, the next one's gonna be more of the same; guess I just wanted t' make sure we were all in one piece goin' into it."
Scott smiles and takes Rogue's gloved hand, "Sorry. Just caught me by surprise is all. Would have liked to been there with you in Latveria. Thank you for your help." He looks down at his bottle, "Do you like wine?"
Scott nods over at Logan, "He's right. More than one person in this room has relayed concerns about this team remaining a team."
"What went on in Latveria?" Warren asks of Logan, also looking to the others to see how many might actually be able to answer that. Obviously, he doesn't know. At Scott's comment, his mouth twitches once, "Well, it seems that some decisions have already been made in that respect."
At Logan's explanation, Piotr looks back to Rogue, then to Kwabena and then to Scott and Jean. Shrugging, he takes a seat and pours himself a shot of vodka. "When have we ever all been in one piece?" he asks. "Put three of us in a room and there will be four opinions. So long as we all agree with the large picture, it is good, da?" His own views on lesser issues - such as what, if any face, to present to the public is well known. And that many disagree with it.
"Ja.. I would not be honest if I said that I did not share those concerns," Kurt nods, his voice low. Twisting about to see his friend, he fills in, "There was some issue with people being kept there against their wills, und perceived threats upon a city. Both matters have been cleared," for the time being. Leaning forward to take a twinkee, it looks as if the blue elf thinks better of it, and leans back again. "Piotr, you are right. Und so, perhaps it might be a good thing for the newly arrived to our ranks be made aware of our particular.. beliefs on that topic? Or for a later date?"
"I've had worse. Which considering..." Hank gestures to himself, and his new furry form. "... all this, is really saying something." Hank leans back after fetching a pack of Twinkies from the box. He may have brought them to share, but that doesn't mean he won't personally indulge in some. Hank turns his focus to Rogue and offers her a more personal greeting, since she's a new arrival. "Welcome to the Honeycomb Hideout. And I wouldn't worry Warren... if we have to, we can just the flashy thing for her." Hank turns his focus back onto the meeting, a clawed finger itching one of his ears as he listens. "Arn't there always concerns about the team coming from somewhere. So much drama."
And at the mention of /something/ having happened in Latveria, Jean silently quirks an eyebrow. But doesn't ask. Not as others ask instead. But otherwise, she just continues to stay... Silent.
The bottle Scott hold is looked at and considered before Rogue laughs, finally feeling a bit more at ease. "Ah usually don't drink much but Ah could be convinced to try a little. Thank you." Kurt's finally joined and leaned a little closer to so she can whisper to him about the gloves without interrupting the other conversation. "Ah'll explain later," she promises before she falls silent so she can listen.
"More of the same? Man, I was hoping for something new and exciting in the sequel," Bobby jokes. He glances around the room when Scott brings up those concerns and just ends up frowning when Warren and Kurt speak up. "Woah, hold up. Someone was considering breaking the team up entirely?"
"You look fine, Hank. Blue fur becomes you," though Kurt has a hard time deadpanning it, and he grins soon after. "All you need is a tail." Yellow eyes turn toward Bobby, and his brows rise, "That was not said, no. Scott said there were concerns expressed, und I said that there have been times when I've had those same concerns. That we are all on the same page." Watching Rogue take her seat, he leans and nods at the whispered promise, and he reaches out to touch the young woman on the sleeve. "Ja.. we will talk, you und I."
Ah, there it is; Logan levels a glance on Warren for a few silent moments before leaning forward to swipe the vodka bottle.
"Psylocke was in trouble," he quietly says before taking a good, stiff pull from the bottle. "Got herself and a couple'a others--" His eyes shift towards Kwabena, here, "--trapped there; some of 'em got out, the rest of 'em had to be rescued." The bottle is considered, then, but ultimately set aside, at least for now; instead, he turns his attention Bobby-wards. "I dunno about all that, but we've been spread a little thin, these last couple'a months."
"I'm pretty sure there'd be someone in this room who could convince you." Scott sets the bottle on one of the desks, open it and pours a glass for Rogue, for himself, and anyone else who wants one. But before he takes a drink he turns to Piotr, "Can I take a pull from that?" The question is asked with a bit of a wince and it seems like Scott's looking for a little something to take the edge off a little quicker. Logan gets it before he can, but he thinks it'll probably get around the room. When Logan sets it down, Scott picks it up and takes a swig.
"Let's not get carried away, Bobby. All I'm saying is that people have been worried. It was good of Logan to get us all together. Nice way to celebrate the new year. And a good way to talk a bit of shop."
"Spread thin?" Warren is going to focus on this conversation and not the side ones for now. "Piotr left. Sam left. Hank left. That's not 'spread thin'. That's 'disbanding'." He crosses his arms and leans his wings against the wall, "Glad someone told me now what was going on. When were the rest of us going to find out about this or should we consider this a formal debriefing?"
And there's a faint, "I'm sorry I haven't exactly helped with that." from Jean as she finally speaks up, probably responding to Logan. Yeah. She's still off to the side. But well....
"Especially after the other night.... Not that the other things I've done... I did, helped at all before that."
Aside from that, it's almost as if she's trying not to draw attention to herself right now.
"I wouldn't want to steal your shtick." Hank reaches over and gives Kurt's tail a playful tug. "Besides, I think it's pretty well attached." He does seem a lot less stuffy and more fun-loving since the changed. So it certainly can't be considered a bad thing. "Save the flirting for later Fuzzy Elf." Hank flashes Kurt a fanged smile, and offers a joking wink at Rogue.
"Scott's right. Though the fact that it's Logan doing it is somewhat cause for concern. Since when was he the responsible one." Hank slips out a small computer from his spot at the table and hums to himself while running a few calculations. "Ok, no... I'm still in my home dimension. Just had to double check." Hank cracks his toes like anyone else would crack their knuckles. "Warren, I left because I had a massive cellular devolvement of my mutation. I took a vacation. Nothing more. Everyone needs some alone time."
"Was sent via smoke signals, Warren," Scott says before taking a sip of wine. "Must have gotten lost in the clouds." He looks to Jean, "Don't blame yourself, Jean." He shrugs at Beast, "Well, the Mayans said there'd be an apocalypse."
Rogue kind of feels like she's a kid watching Mommy and Daddy fight, that kind of uncomfortable feeling that's borne of having to sit in the middle of a tense situation. Not wanting to interject since she is not involved in this, she merely takes her wine, thanks Scott with a nod of her head, and takes to drinking.
Piotr's gesture to the vodka bottle is clearly a 'help yourself' one in response to Scott's question. "I have not left." he notes. "I am merely... what is the phrase? Spending my money where my words are by being one of the visible faces of mutants. I am only on call with the Justice League when need dictates it. I do though wonder, as Hank has mentioned, that it is Logan who called and leads this meeting." The bottle of vodka being in use, he reaches for one of Kurt's beers. He does like good beer.
Bobby relaxes a bit at the responses. He'd honestly been worried about that kind of thing himself since he got back. He tenses at the mention of Sam but doesn't say anything about it. He takes a swig of his beer and lets out a sigh. He gives Hank a look when he mentions Logan being the responsable one though, smirking a little. "Right, if either Logan or I are the responsible ones we all panic," he says. "Let me guess, giant killer parrots are attacking and we have to go save the world from them," he tries a joke.
At Hank's tug, Kurt's tail moves to wrap about Hank's wrist and give it a tug right back. "There is plenty of room, mein freund." Returning his attention, he catches Piotr reaching for the beer, and shifts it closer to the Russian. "I have been remiss in aiding things here, too. Und for that, I apologize. I have been rather busy with Father Mike in New York over the holidays, und things haven't yet let up." Though, he doesn't show concern that Logan is the one heading the meeting? "Let me say that I have the utmost confidence in you, Logan.. und I'm not even looking over Hank's shoulder as he checks for dimensional shift.."
"Right about now," Logan flatly replies to his winged teammate. "I grabbed who I needed; there wasn't a lotta room to spread it around. Wasn't personal, it was practical; 'less you need me t' spell out what it looks like when a mutant assassin, a SHIELD agent, and a mercenary invade a country together."
The old man takes a moment to snag one of the Canadian brews in front of him before tacking on, "Didn't mean t' ruffle any feathers; just how it goes, when you're dealin' with an international incident," flicking the top off with his thumb, and taking a swig of beer. After tipping the bottle down, he says to Jean, "Ain't here t' point the finger at anyone, Red," and then after squinting towards his teammates' uncertainty - he can call meetings too, damnit, he did it /all of the time/ back with his Canadian intelligence peers! - the tracker mutters, "'ppreciate the vote'a confidence, though." Kurt gets a little tip of his beer before he takes another drink from it.
"Look," Scott says with a faint smile. "Let's just tell it like it is. About 4 months ago I went on sabbatical to deal with some very difficult personal issues. I'd like to remind everyone in this room I've never given anyone else a hard time when they needed to do the same. So, if that's what we really want to talk about, let's talk about it. I've never held anything back from anyone here and will never do so in the future. Logan has more than enough "permissions" to call together a drinking party. If you're wondering what my 'strategy' at getting everyone around the fire, it was to meet with you individually, which I already did with some of you. Now, given everything that's happened recently, I'm happy that Logan got us together. I don't take it as a personal slight, or attack on my leadership. If you feel that it is, that's your business and your opinion. And you're entitled to it. But just because Logan and I have had our issues in the past doesn't mean there's a wedge right now. Both he and I are on the same page with this."
Warren's jaw merely clenches, "Fine. What would you all like me to do then." His arms remain crossed and he stays at his place against the wall, neither sitting nor imbibing.
And as Scott says that... /ALL/ of that, Jean.... Nods? Yeap. She nods. And she even smiles very faintly. He may even get a faint telepathic message of 'Well said' from her at that. But outwardly, she goes back to remaining silent.
Jean's noticed by Rogue but, like the red-head, she too remains silent, still too afraid of over-stepping boundries. She is just a guest here, after all, and hasn't been asked for her opinion.
Beast offers Scott an approving nod and looks over to Logan. "All kidding aside... you have my upmost confidence. You may be a bit rough around the edges, but I have to appreciate your no-nonsense style of getting things done." Hank glances over at Warren, quirking a brow at him. "Stop sulking would be a good start. We're all friends here. There's no reason to distance yourself from the rest of us."
The whole exchange gets a groan from Bobby. The icy mutant the thunks his head against the table and leaves it there. "Seriously, my jokes aren't obvious?" he asks, mostly talking to the table. "Ya know I don't have anything against you, Logan," he adds. "So...let's move along? What're we all gathered up now for? Got a mission for us?" he may be talking to the room now but he's still got his head on the table. Maybe it's for attempted comedy and maybe he just likes it there. Who knows.
Kurt lifts the bottle to his lips, tipping it first in Logan's direction before taking a swallow. "Leadership und responsibility brings a great deal, including the lack of luxuries that others may enjoy. Fair, nein. Just, nein.. merely fact." He offers a smile in support for Scott, "Time und communication.. or a lack of communication brings many misunderstandings." He twists around to look at Warren again, and addresses him, "Have your concerns been addressed, mein freund?" before looking at everyone at the table again. "I would hope that things would remain constructive. A command 'stop sulking' does not help. Give a man tools, und be mindful.. then he will come." Exhaling he takes another swallow of his beer. "I think there are a few things that some of us are looking at in the coming days. I have made the acquaintance lately of some colourful people. Red rather than blue, even."
"-Were- friends. Beast. We all -were- friends. As far as I can tell, a lot of those friendships have been dissolved by some way or another." Blue eyes glance to Jean briefly before Warren looks back to Beast. "I didn't put myself at a distance. It was done." He then looks at Kurt, "No, they haven't. They've been glossed over or ignored because apparently I'm 'sulking'. And if I bring anything up now, I get accused of making everything about me. So I'm waiting to be told what I should do."
The more Scott speaks, the more Logan's bemused expression is focused entirely on him; even when he sips from his beer, he peers at the man, and by the time Cyclops has finished, one bushy black brow is firmly arched. With a quiet noise of surprise and amusement, he shakes his head, then looks to Warren again.
"Look." His feet draw back along the table to hit the ground heavily, and then he leans in Angel's direction. His own jaw is initially clenched as these adjustments are made, but by the time he settles, his features are more or less neutral. "Yer livin' off in that fancy penthouse'a yours" what could easily be construed as judgment at another time is stated flatly, objectively, "adjustin' t' life outta the closet, or whatever, an' that's fine; we all get that. Same way we get it when Sam, an' Petey', an' Hank need some time t' sort through their own crap; it ain't got nothin' to do with disbandin'. The X-Men're bigger than any'a them three, you, me--long as there's people up for doin' the job we do, it's gonna go on." As he says that last bit, he looks towards Rogue and Kwabena in turn before settling back in his seat.
"I ain't got a mission today," he then says to Bobby. "Mostly, I figured we could all stand t' be together." After another glance towards Rogue in particular, he adds, "Maybe get t' know a couple'a new friends, while we were at it."
Scott's head turns to Hank and he reaches up a hand. He doesn't mean to be dismissive; it's more of a 'hold on.' "Look, Warren. Have a drink. Sit back. Let's relax and talk. Are we all as great of friends as we used to be? Probably not. But you only get to be friends with someone by spending time. It kind of seems that that's what Logan was trying to do with Rogue, here. Have us get to know her."
And as Warren flashes that look at Jean, it's almost as if the Redhead shrinks a little.
Yeah that is probably /one/ of the reasons why she's staying so silent right now.
One of them.
Piotr glances at his beer then reaches for the vodka and takes a couple large swigs. Beer, while tasty, is just too lightweight a cushion for this. Though in truth he'd need the entire bottle to be a proper cushion given his mass and alcohol tolerance. "I once heard Oprah say that family's only fight so much because they care about each other. We must be caring a great deal tonight, da?"
"We are... present tense. Granted things have been difficult in many of our lives recently, but that doesn't dissolve friendships." Hank notes to Warren, leaning forward to lean on the table just a bit. "Maybe if you'd voice your concerns so we know what they are... it would be helpful. We're not mindreaders." Beast pauses, gesturing to Jean for a moment. "Present company exclused." Hank shushes though once Logan starts talking once again. So Scott doesn't even really need to shush him. "Well said Logan. The X-Men are greater than the sum of it's parts. Just because we're not all Kumbaya all the time, doesn't mean we're not there for each other. Or care for each other."
Rogue looks around when she is looked at and then spoken about, the surprise at being brought up again getting her to blink owlishly and then blush. Talk about feeling like she's been put on the spot. "Ah do appreciate y'all lettin' me come to visit. Ah know it must be horribly... awkward. But like Logan said, perhaps this will be a chance for us to become friends." The hand not holding the cup is used to pluck a bit at the glove that covers the opposite arm, her eyes lowing.
Logan lifts his head, does a slight double take at Piotr, and then just stares at the Russian strongman for a good three or four seconds, not saying a word... until his head lowers and shakes. At which point, he good-naturedly mutters, "Oprah," amidst a small chuckle. "Jesus Christ."
Kurt barks a laugh at Piotr's words and he can't help but nod his head, "Ja, Piotr. It is because we care. If we did not, none of this would concern us in the least." He nods his head at Logan's words, and his brows rise in dramatic surprise, the beer forgotten for a moment. "I am impressed, Logan. Well said."
Okay... Now that... That Jean can't help but let out a faint laugh at. After all, Oprah being brought up here. That's worth more than a smile. All though as what Rogue says sinks in, the redhead can't help but offer her a more welcoming smile and a few kind words.
"I hope we do. And things aren't always this... Tense. But the past few months have been a challenge for us, in more ways than one."
"Oh, Logan. Good idea but the War Room really is not a good place to hang. I say next team meeting takes place in a hot tub," Bobby jokes a little more, just teasing a Logan a tiny bit. And then things get back to making him hide hid face against the table. He's about to say something else but Piotr speaks first and Bobby pauses. A moment to process and the cryokinetic laughs. Of course with the position he's in, he ends up slipping off his chair. THUD. "I'm okay!" he speaks up, holding up a 'thumbs up'.
Warren just shakes his head, "I'm not about to air my grievances and continue to be told that I'm just sulking or that my feelings aren't 'valid'. Been there, done that, got told it didn't matter what I thought." Logan is then addressed as he stays against the wall, "I've been living in that 'penthouse of mine' since before I 'came out' as a mutant. No one cares. I couldn't move back here, and frankly, I don't really want to. I'm happy to help, but there are going to be others who will need the room and I'm not one of them. If that's the only reason that I'm not included in things, fine. That's good to know. It's ridiculous since I can fly here or catch up fairly easily, but at least it's a reason that's a little more than some weak excuse." He then looks back to Scott, "I really don't see why I should 'hang' with people who don't really want to hang with me. If that makes me a snob, so be it."
Scott shakes his head, "I honestly don't know why you feel left out, Warren. I've been away for a while, so maybe I missed something, but I never really realized there was a problem. I certainly don't think you're a snob. At least, I wouldn't say it out loud." A grin comes across his face as it appears he seems to be joking about that last one. "Here. Have a drink." He hands the bottle of wine and a glass towards his old friend.
"The books she spoke about were very good." Piotr says, defending Oprah. Looking at Warren, he takes a swig from the bottle then slides it over to Scott. "Welcome, Rogue. I am pleased to finally see you here." She's never seen him in the flesh so to speak but his talking about the Justice League was surely a clue by four.
"If we had the meeting in a hot tub, Bobby, you would melt," Kurt reminds with a grin, "though I do agree. The war room is a bit formal for a meet und greet. But it's winter, und Storm isn't here to give us a warm spot under a tree in the back." He looks to Rogue, letting the others deal- he'll speak to Warren later, alone. "I look forward to getting to know you better," and he gives Hank a look, "Und not like that.."
"Guess that little yellow an' blue speedo I been holdin' onto'll finally get some action," Logan dryly fires back at Bobby. When his coolest(according to science, anyway) teammate then goes on to roll himself to the ground in the course of laughing, he stands up a little from his seat, but he doesn't make any move to help... mostly because he figures one of the people closer to Bobby will take care of it.
Also because, okay, it's kind of funny, even if Logan isn't doing much more than smirking a little outwardly; who doesn't love a good pratfall every now and again?
That mirthful expression melts away, though, when Warren speaks his mind, and Logan turns his attention towards the winged one, keeping his feet and balancing the tips of his fingers atop the table. "Hell, if callin' you rescue a senator, shop for the students, an' get together with us is keepin' you outta the loop, I dunno what t' tell you, War," is his lowly voiced response, and after it's given, he sinks back into his chair and finishes his bottle off.
"Sorry, darlin'," he off-handedly offers to Rogue while lobbing the bottle into a nearby bin. "Like Jeanie said: 's been a long couple'a months."
Beast pinches the bridge of his nose... and grumbles under his breath. "Warren...." Hank pauses, trying his best to address the sudden tension that's filling the room in a way that doesn't add to it. "I'm certain I don't know what your problems are. And I'm guessing that nobody else does either. Again, we're not mind readers. We can't be expected to know what's bothering you 24/7. You may feel that we're hands off or don't care about you, but I can assure you that's the farthest from the truth. Just because we're not beating down your door to spend time with you and making sure you're okay is because you're an adult."
Beast pauses for a moment, trying to figure what he can say to help the situation. "We all do care about you Warren, even if you somehow have gotten the perception that we don't. You know that we all have our quirks. I myself prefer to be alone with my work and my thoughts. People left me alone even though they saw me on a destructive path. It's because we're all adults. We don't need someone babysitting us. If you want to feel more a part of things... why not seek out company of companionship? Just because you don't get the call everytime doesn't mean that people don't like you and don't care about you. And we certainly don't want you to go eat worms. Though they are high in protein and prepared the right way arn't that bad."
"Thanks, everyone. Ah'm very happy to be here." Rogue speaks to everyone present as a whole but her gaze is kept on Warren, her eyes holding to his face as she mulls over his displeasure. Not sure what she can say or if she should speak at all, she is quiet for a bit but then, after a few seconds, she speaks again. "It sounds like everyone here who knows you cares. Maybe it'll just take some time..." Lame, but she's trying to be supportive.
And as Warren goes off like that, Jean looks /almost/ like she's going to say something directly back to him. Like she's going to snap. Like there's a whole thing she wants to say.
But she doesn't.
Why she doesn't is anyones guess. But maybe, just maybe, she's not sure herself how to say what she feels she should be saying. After all, she has been through a lot, not just in the last few months, but in the last few days, and she hasn't had a chance yet to really sort out even her own mind.
Thus, instead, she just stands up, and moves over to help Bobby back up. Or at least offer a hand if he wants it.
"Reckon Hank over there's got a hell of a bear hug these days, if it'll make you feel any better, at that," Logan absently suggests while popping another bottle with one hand and thumbing towards the blue-haired genius with the other.
"You all don't get it, do you?" Warren looks to those gathered, "I can't get it out of my head that I was told that I was...a liability and shouldn't be seen with the students or anyone affiliated with the Institute because my being a public mutant could leak back and out others. Yet Piotr's one...Kurt's one...and Hank is one. The fact that they're allowed to be seen around here, around you all, and I'm somehow not? Yeah, I take it personally." He's still stuck on this. Scott gets a glance, "I even brought this up to you and you dismissed it. Because that makes me feel like the people I thought were my friends really care."
Scott sighs, and pulls the bottle of wine back. "We've all said things we wish we could take back. And we have all had things said to us that we wish could be taken back." He tilts his head, trying to be a bit empathetic, but struggles. "This is going to sound very harsh, and I apologize in advance, but seriously, Warren."
"Get over it."
Kurt catches his name, and he exhales softly. "I am absent during parent meetings remember, Warren," he says quietly. "I am certain there is no slight intended."
"Dr. Hank McCoy has no official connection to the Xavier Institute. And there's nothing that connects him to the 'Bouncing Blue Beast'. Being a little descrete does wonders. Also, Salem Center is a fairly safe zone for obvious mutants like ourselves. We have friends in numerous places, and Xavier's zone of woogieness keeps people from asking too many questions." Hank pushes up from the table and starts walking around it, continuing to voice his thoughts. "All people ask is that you don't bring extra attention to the mansion. No big Warren Worthington sponsered block parties. Or what have you. No cutting the ribbon outside Harry's Hideaway next time it gets destroyed. I think you honestly misundertsood people's concerns."
By the time Jean gets over to him, Bobby just gives her a sigh and a sad look. He can hear it all up there but he's having a 'maybe I should just stay on the floor' moment. He starts to accept the hand up though, only to stop as the discussion keeps going. "Warren. Didn't I tell you that no one but you know who thought that way?" meaning the Phoenix. Yes, he still thinks that Jean and Phoenix were not one in the same. He'll accept that hand up now.
With there being very little for Rogue to do she leans in over to the side and whispers to Scott. "Y'all sure know how to thow a shingdig," she drawls, making a joke for the sake of trying to add a little levity to the moment. Not the most appropiate thing to do but hey. Give her a break. She is trying.
"And more, none of us are publically known." Piotr adds. "You had a media event, Warren. As Warren Worthington, the billionaire mutant while the press does not know who Piotr is. I am pleased you did, too. It was very brave and will be a good example for our people. But there is danger and I say this as someone who has encouraged you to be here more. If some felt that right after your press conference while you were strongly in the public eye and possibly had paparazzi following you, it would be wiser to be discreet for a time..." He shrugs. "That time is over."
Therer's a glance at Logan. At Bobby (once he's back up). At Piotr. At Rogue and Kurt. At Scott. At Kwa. At basically everyone here as Jean just lets what Warren said sink in, or at least react to it.
"Warren." is said in a hushed tone, as Dr. Jean Grey looks directly at him. "I'm sorry. That's all I can say. That's all I can say that would make sense. If you want me to give you some long story about what happened to me, I can give you it. But you don't know what happened. I spent /months/ with /something/ else in me, something just short of a /GOD/ as a part of me, at times controlling me, and a lot of the time influencing me. I don't fully know what was because of its influence, its direct control, or just me."
"You're not the only person in this room that I hurt one way or another during that time. I'm sorry it happened. If I could go back and change all of it, I would. Instead, I'm here, free of it now... Feeling small and tiny... Insignificant after being just this side of a god for months on end... Feeling like a huge chunk of who I was is now missing, that it was ripped away with no warning... And now I'm left dealing with the huge mess my life has become."
"So with all of that... After all of that... I'm sorry. And if you can't accept that apology, then I don't know what else to tell you, or to do."
Then there's a pause as Jean just glances at the others here.
"The same goes to everyone."
And with that said, she moves back to her seat. And more than likely, her silence.
Scott leans over to Rogue with a smile, "You should have seen us on Thanksgiving. Someone got knifed over the last roll. It was gruesome." He motions to the bottle of wine, "Need a refill?"
"Never touch my rolls." Piotr says quietly.
Logan glowers at Piotr for a full ten seconds before snatching the vodka bottle away and dropping back into his seat to drain a goodly quantity of it.
Kurt listens to Jean, watches her move around and nods his head. The hours of vigil, both with Phoenix and without.. well.. and he looks back behind him to Warren. "There it is, mein freund." If that is, indeed, what the wing'ed one is waiting for. After that, he tips his bottle back fully and drains the rest just as Logan makes to drain the vodka. "As long as I had the canned cranberry sauce, I could let the roll go."
Beast looks to Jean and steps up to offer her a hug. "No hard feelings Jeanie. It comes with the superhero tights." Hank gestures to Scott, to Wolverine, and then to himself. "Some of us know all too well about losing control. And those of us who don't, are blessed. Because that day will come. Whether it's a comsic entity or just our inner demons. Whether it's our powers going out of control or someone mind controlling us. It comes with the territory. So we can't start pointing fingers, assigning blame, or letting mistakes eat away at us." Hank steps over and puts a hand on Scott's shoulder. "His advice is wise, even if it's not tactful. We all need to get over it. Because this is our lives."
Scott chuckles, "Tact is on my list for New Years resolutions this year. Promise."
"Right up there with wear more kilts and flash us all more?" Bobby teases Scott, draining his beer.
"When we aren't doin' whatever this is," Logan murmurs once the bottle is finally lowered and he's able to look fully in Rogue's direction, "or breakin' international law, we set things right for mutants that ain't got nobody else to fight for 'em." After dragging the back of his hand across his mouth, he slides the vodka towards the center of the table.
"Usually, we end up breakin' international law anyway, but shit happens," he admits.
"No one cares, Piotr. I didn't have paparazzi after the first couple of days. No one. Cared." Warren repeats. "During all of this with the Senator, no one cared that I was walking around with giant wings. I never got more than a dirty look."
At Jean's apology he quiets a moment before he manages, "Thank you." The others are looked at in silence for a moment before he offers, "I realize that this is my perception and my deal. I get that. And I'm not expecting people to bend over backwards for me." There's a brief shake of his head, "I guess I'm tired of feeling like I'm trying to fit in and failing. It was like this from the first time I came here and it never really changed despite how much I tried to make it." Even now, the others are managing to joke and he just can't feel the humor in the situation.
A nod is give to Rogue and Kwa, "They're good folks. They won't steer you wrong and they'll always look out for you even if you don't always see it." With that, he goes to step out of the War Room.
Rogue waves off the offered drink, the first glass more than enough and not even empty, yet. Granted, she probably doesn't need to worry about getting drunk anyhow, but why take that chance? "I still am in need of a tour at some point," she mentions to no one in particular. Not that this is the right time for her to be given one, of course. It can wait for a few days. She almost says something else but then Warren says his piece and then prepares to leave, that throwing her off of her game.
And as Warren says his piece, Jean frowns. But she remains silent as she sits there. Alone. And no, she still hasn't touched any sort of drink here.
Beast shakes his head at Warren, walking over and clapping a hand on his shoulder and giving it a warm squeeze. "Warren... you fit in better than myself. Even from the beginning outside of Jean you were probably the most normal of us. You know how much I wished I had a mutation like yours. One that people would call beautiful. There's a reason you're 'Angel'." Hank shakes his head a bit. "You might percieve you didn't fit in, but you were part of our family. A brother. And if you ever need to talk, I am sure everyone will want to hear what you have to say."
Scott nods to Rogue, "Suit yourself. And I'm sure you'll have no shortage of volunteers to show you around." As Warren speaks, Scott purses his lips. He feels if the guy wants to leave, then that's his choice. But he is sorry he wasn't able to change his mind about what's going on.
"Ain't nobody gonna stop you, if you wanna go, War," Logan says once the billionaire has said his piece, "'cause like Hank said, yer a man, an' that's your call t' make; ain't a lotta use puttin' it on anyone else, though." When Hank actually moves to put a hand on the winged man's shoulder, he tips his head slightly towards the genius, then reaches into his case for another beer.
This one, however, he means to carry over to Jean, to be offered neck first to the redhead; a sign of appreciation, perhaps, for her honesty and contrition.
Not to mention that with the way the meeting has gone, he can't imagine anyone /not/ wanting a drink by now.
Piotr reclaims the bottle of vodka from Logan and finishes what's left. Dead soldier. "Warren. on Staten Island, there is a Mutant Advocacy Center. They are in need of an attorney. The one they have is overworked and doing it pro bono. Perhaps you can help. A Mr. Erik Lehnsherr is running it and would, no doubt, be happy to speak with you."
Kurt makes to rise from his seat as Warrent begins to make his way through the door. "Rogue, there will be many offering, und you will have your pick. Und I will include myself in the throng vying for the opportunity." But! "Warren, come und walk with me, then." Twisting around, he catches Piotr's words and nods, his attention coming back around to his wing'ed friend. "There is that.. Father Mike has said nice things about them, und we've brought people there." He looks into the room just before he departs, yellow eyes turning to each, ending on Logan, and it lingers, and he nods before turning his back and heading out, his voice trailing behind him as he begins again, "Kommst to the lake again with me.."
Oh Jean wants to drink. She seriously wants to drink. But after... Well, everything, she just isn't sure if it's a good idea. So while she does accept it from Logan, and even offers him a faint smile and a nod of thanks, she doesn't do much with it aside from taking a single sip. As is, she's... Well... She isn't sure how she feels after going off like that to be honest, which just gives her another reason to stay silent.
"It can wait. Right now Ah think it'd jus' be for the best if we all had a chance to calm and let what happen... Ah dunno." Not really one who does well in situations like this, Rogue can't offer anything profound or any kind of good advice. So she'll just sit here and relax.
Warren looks to Hank at the touch, "This isn't about how I look, Hank. It's about how I feel and maybe that -is- the problem. That everyone sees me as the 'most normal.'" He looks back to Piotr, turning slightly so he can look beyond his wing, "I'm not an attorney. I can send someone their way though if they're in need of one. Or I can throw some money at them. I'm good at that too." As Kurt asks him to walk to the lake with him, he just gives a sigh, "It's so cold..." and that -is- a whine, but he seems willing to go along.
"It can always be colder!" Bobby calls, just a playful mock-threat for his friends.
Beast sighs and returns to the table... slumping down into the seat. "I blame myself for all this. Clearly my newfound peace of mind and jovial attitude that came with my altered mutation has left a vacuum of angst that transfered to poor Warren. I'll have to do better at wallowing in self pity about my horrible furry appearance and the shedding and shower clogging that comes with all that." Hank leans back and sighs dramatically. "Oh woe is me - my life is a misery. Oh cant you see that Im at the start of apretty big downer."
And of course that sip of beer that Jean is trying to swallow just /has/ to come out her nose as she laughs at Hanks little 'performance'.
Scott chuckles at Hank and shakes his head. He puts himself up on one of the desks and kicks his legs while sipping at his wine. "Anyone else got anything they want to get out in the open? Tonight seems to be the night."
After looking up to watch Warren for a little while, Logan looks down at Jean long enough to offer a dry, quiet, "Welcome back."
And then, just as he's setting his eyes on Hank, beer sprays all over the tracker; he stares down at himself in shock for a brief moment, then flattens his features and trudges back to his seat, snagging a beer for himself along the way.
"All good here, boss," he mutters before popping the top with aid of a particularly sharp canine.
And as he heads away... That is after he gets sprayed, Jean tries to say, "Thanks. And sorry." before her gaze flickers back to Hank for a moment. Just in case.
As Scott opens that door, Piotr says "Da. Though it is not a grievance against any here but of policy. I am aware we have spoken of this but as there are many of us here... All know my thoughts about how much secrecy is too much. Keeping our very existence unknown to humans seems counter to our mission to me. But that is not what I bring up today. Keeping out existence from our own people is. More and more, word on the street among mutants is of the Brotherhood. If they are the only group our people know about, it is the Brotherhood's methods that will become the norm. They need to know violence is not always the answer and that there are those who advocate that with many good results."
"I have something... Scott promised me costume design ideas. And I'm still waiting." Hank grins, turning the heavy tone towards something lighter. "I'm open to suggestions. But my old looks just do not work with the various alterations." Hank pauses though when Piotr brings that up. "Let's not open that door. I think what Charles laid out for the group is more than fair."
- thoop* The cork is pulled out of the wine bottle. Forgoing the glass, Scott just drinks from the bottle. Scott looks over at Hank and grins back at him. "Guys I know we have hit this issue before. I also know that Piotr is very concerned about this issue and has been at the forefront of this in the past. Remember, I've been out of the country for four months. When we talk about the Brotherhood, what exactly are we discussing? What moves has this brotherhood made so far? I want to know, specifics. And also want Hank to wait a little longer until I get healed up before I hit the sewing machine."
"Just put on a pair of shorts or a speedo and go wild, Hank. Make sure they're not blue though or everyone will think you're naked," Bobby remarks, getting himself another beer and cooling it off. He points at Piotr. "Yeah, I'm with the big guy. Gotta let those mutant kids out there know we're around," he pauses and frowns at the door a moment. "Damn. I forgot to ask Kurt if he found that kid Warren told me about. I've got pranks to pull."
"He's got a point, though," Logan gruffly supplies after emptying about half of that bottle. Rogue gets a brief look before he continues, "I ain't got the face for magazine covers or nothin', but if it's about to makin' sure the Brotherhood ain't the first place people's minds go when they think 'mutant', I reckon Chuck'd understand."
To Scott, he explains, "When that registration mess was goin' down, Magneto hit a place that turnin' out brainwashed mutant soldiers; wiped it clean out, 'cause'a what they were up to." The end of his explanation is markedly quieter in the first, and doesn't quite seem to be looking at Scott anymore--or anyone else, for that matter; as soon as he's done, he brings the bottle back up to his lips.
And as The Brotherhood, and what Logan says about what Magneto did is said, Jean frowns. But she doesn't speak up about that.
All though she does glance at Bobby, then at Hank.
"If you do that Hank, I'm sure most of the ladies, and some of the guys will at least enjoy it."
"There is not a lot known so far." Piotr tells not just Scott but everyone. "But Magneto has brought together a group of mutants just as the Professor has. Their goals are ours. But their methods are more militant. More violent. And they are known to exist by the people who need hope the most: the mutants on the street who do not live behind our fence. The ones who might not know we exist and have no reason to believe the rumors. Yet they know, not just believe, the Brotherhood exists. So when they look for a savior, for mutants to show them the way, who will they look to?" He shrugs and finishes his beer.
"So," Scott begins, "Our problem is that the Brotherhood has sort of trumped us in publicity. What are the possible solutions?"
And here's where Jean actually speaks up. And /maybe/ a hint of the old Jean, the pre-Phoenix Jean, speaks up.
"Probably the best way is positive examples. Or I should say positive public examples. Like Piotr with the Justice League, and Warren with his business. After all, it wasn't just Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X that helped with the civil rights movement. But it was also Muhammad Ali, Jesse Owens, and The Tuskegee Airmen doing things publicly, showing they were just as 'good' as anyone else."
"Gotta figure out a way to extend a hand without showin' it, on top'a that," Logan offers after winging that beer into the trash with the other empties. "Give the people somethin' t' Instatweet each other about, or whatever." Even as he says it, Logan makes a face at the suggestion; he's had his ups and downs with camera phone-happy civilians while engaging in public acts of superheroism.
"So, I should get out there and do what I did out in Cali, huh?" Bobby speaks up. "Superhero and not be shy about letting the mutant flag fly?" he says.
Scott nods to Jean, "That's one example. Another option would be, perhaps...and I'm just throwing this out there...To have a more public team and a different headquarters, perhaps in the city." Scott tilts his head, "Another option would be doing nothing and continuing on doing as we're doing. Another option would be to fund pro-mutant projects and initiatives. Which of these do we think is best?"
There's a slight pause at that, before there's a slow nod.
"I can see the advantages of a public team. But unless that's made up of either people who are either publicly known as mutants already, or have blatant and obvious mutations, we might have some issues. After all, we'd then be asking people who might not want to, to reveal to the public that they are mutants. Worse, there's the possibility of it being connected to the school somehow if it was made up of too many alumni or faculty..."
"We'd need a hell of a lot more X-Men t' staff this other team; I dunno about the rest'a y'all, but I can only be in so many places," Logan says with an arched brow. "Throwin' money at it's only gonna do so much, but it's somethin'; biggest thing's makin' sure the people we're protectin' know we're there to protect 'em, though, ain't it? Maybe we oughtta be figurin' out how t' get ourselves t' where we're needed quicker, before we worry about puttin' our faces out there.
"Jean has the right of it." Piotr answers. "People need heroes. They role models. Ones like themselves to use as examples of what is possible. But." There's always a but. "The Brotherhood is setting itself up to be their heroes in a way that no individual can match. People who are hurting and afraid look for saviors. Knights in shining armor who ride to their rescue. Though all of your possibilities are also good ones, Scott. There is another option. A whisper campaign. 'The X-Men exist. They rescue mutants. They help our people. They work to bring peace with humans.' A counter example to the Brotherhood our people can point to. Maybe even advertise some of what we do but after the fact and without compromising security. Our people need to know we're here."
"I understand Piotr's concern, of course. And though I think there's some merit to Pitor's last suggestion, I personally feel as though we need to have faith in our mutant brethren that they too will make positive choices. I advocate the status quo in regards to our secrecy. I think the way we need to change comes in regards to tactics." Scott sighs, "I don't think this is a battle that we need to fight in the hearts, on the internet, or in the streets. I think we need to take the fight to the Brotherhood. Meet them at the point of attack. Prevent them from what they're doing. I want spies. I want to know what the Brotherhood is going to do before they do it, and I want to beat them to the punch. Once they taste defeat, their numbers will dwindle. That's where my vote goes."
"My vote..." Jean says, "Is similar. /BUT/ if we can find positive examples of mutants who either are already publicly known as mutants, or better yet have no connections to us, and can help hold them up as examples of what Mutants can do, I say we still need to do that."
Bobby stretches out, drinking his beet. "Hmm...why not all of the above? We take the fight to them and show people how real mutant heroes do things?"
"Yes, people always make the right choices." Piotr murmurs quietly with a sigh and roll of his eyes at Scott's words. More loudly, he says "They are not our enemy. They want what we want. If they use methods we do not... I am not ready to say they are wrong to do so."
"I'll keep an eye on them," Logan offers after shooting a glance towards Piotr's objection.
"How do their ways differ from ours precisely, Piotr?" Scott asks.
Piotr can only shrug at the question. "That is one reason I am uncertain if they are wrong. Little is known about them still. But I have heard they are more prone to violence. They are more likely to destroy a target, much like what Logan spoke of earlier. They confront outright while we sneak. I believe in the Professor's dream and so want our people to do so as well. Which is why I want them to know of it." Even if he's not so sure it's realistic.
"Well," Scott says with a tilted head, seemingly straight at Piotr. "If that's true. If they're prone to violence and destruction, then they are very much different than us. And they are very much our enemies. We stand for tolerance and peace. Just because they share our mutant gene doesn't make us allies. We have principles."
Piotr just shrugs noncommitally. Though it's easy to guess he doesn't really agree. But he's said what he had to say and maybe one or more of those solutions will be implemented. It can only be a win.
Scott exhales and nods, "I'll talk to the Professor and see what he has to say about the matter. But whatever he decides is what I'm going to back. We all know that the safety of the students is at the forefront of the Professor's mind. But I'm sure this Brotherhood will concern him greatly."
"Of course." Piotr agrees. "The safety of the students must be a priority." That's never been in question.
Scott grins, "So here we are. Piotr and Scott. Where we always are." He gives a tilt of the head, "Got anymore vodka?"
"Always." Piotr answers, grinning back at Scott. "In my quarters. You are welcome to come help me empty one."
You paged Scott Summers with 'Ah, gotcha.'
Scott chuckles, "Let's make this great night a fantastic one, old friend."