|First Class (AU): Point of Hue|
|What: It's the 1960s! Charles Xavier has formed his first group of mutants, made them a team, and gone on to turn his family home into his School for the Gifted. Darwin returns 'home' from abroad to catch up with his friends, Charles and Mystique...|
Xavier's School for the Gifted.
It's the '60s!
Armando (or just Mondo) Munoz strolls through the Atrium of Xavier's Institute late in the evening. His car -- a beastly, 'burt-orange' 1967 Chevrolet Camaro -- is parked outside, and most students are well and truly in their dorms. A few teachers turn up here and there, working late or just enjoying the evening.
Most folks here, however, call him Darwin.
Moving slowly along, the bald, Afro-American fellow jaunts as if to music, fingers clicking softly in time to his footsteps. He is clad in a leather jacket, over a shirt and pants, with shiny boots on his feet. Humming. One must assume that any telepaths on-campus would be able to here the mental version of his singing... quite some distance away.
Perhaps that's the point.
As the visitor casually ambles his way into the aged and well lived in building blaring his jubilant singing, his efforts prove to pay off as a second voice soon joins his own in his head, <Yes, yes, you're very talented, or at least in your own head you are, I grant you I've not snooped on your listening to verify that, but why risk the illusion, yes? -- I take it you were trying to get my attention?> the mental tone is all very crisp and proper, but the underlying warmth and humor bleeds through like watercolor through newsprint.
Darwin looks up at the ceiling, eyes brightly gleaming behind sunglasses he really does not need to be wearing. Indoors. At night. Winter-time. Here, of all places. The man's lips part, revealing pearly white teeth in a brilliant smile.
<~ Well, it WORKED, didn't it Charlie? ~> He stops jaunting and dancing around and stands in the middle of the foyer, hands on his hips. <~ Hey, check the new ride? ~> And he puts an image of his new car in his head, turning about as through on a revolving plinth -- complete with a pair of 'babes' in swimwear really NOT suited for this weather, standing either side.
<~ You comin' down, do I have to come get you? *ahem* Professor. ~>
Darwin and Charles aren't the only ones awake. A young looking woman is also awake, pacing the halls. Her appearance flickers, from dark skin to light, hair a psychedelic kaleidoscopic of colours. Her clothes change too, from Victorian style, to 20s 30s and 40s. She seems distant.
<Oh, well now, once again you've made it quite necessary for me to never set eyes on the genuine article you realize? How could it possibly live up to its precursor, here..?> and Darwin's mental image somehow acquires some heavenly sunbeams and a sublime chord in the background to go with the impractically garbed ladies.
Charles himself bobs down the stairs with both a sweater and a cardigan on over his powder blue Oxford shirt in deference to the weather, his eyes shining with innocent mischief. "Really, what a terrible waste, I would have otherwise very much liked to insist upon a ride in it otherwise." and he walks over to hug the taller man, clapping him on the back. "How have you been, my friend?"
Mondo grins again.
At the same time, he pulls off his sunglasses, revealing his completely white eyes underneath them, and tucks the shades into his jacket pocket. Responding in kind to the Professor's backslap, he follows it up with a fist-bump... which may or may not 'work'.
"Just groovy, man. Just groovy. One of the few times I get to drive in New York without draggin' a passenger 'round, or flippin' the meter. Done waaay better for m'self since y -- ," and he spots the young woman walking towards him and Xavier.
"Mystique! How's my girl doin'?" and he jogs nimbly away from Charles to go say hi -- arms spread open to give a hug.
Charles is a savvy little telepath; he only looks puzzled at the offered fist for a moment before he shamelessly skims for context and breaks into a smile, responding in kind. After all, he's in the profession of making people feel welcome, so in a sense, it's only good manners, isn't it?
As Raven joins them he turns his smile on her as well, though it flickers slightly. "Oh, I hope we didn't wake you?"
Mystique waves slightly. "Darwin, Professor." she greets, her appearance settling after a moment, to her 'normal' blue skin and yellow eyes. "No, I haven't been able to sleep as of late." She lets Darwin hug her, hugging back reservedly.
"More o' that 'humming Wagner' in yo' head, Charlie," Darwin replies sagely -- his tone belied by the grin on his face as he lets Raven go and steps back to Xavier again. "So, whassup?" He glances between his two friends, giving Mystique a slightly longer look, a light frown upon his brow. "I've been out o' town a while now -- seekin' warmer climates and places don't yell 'the draft' in yo' ear every minute."
He pauses briefly, and folds his arms across his chest.
"Helps, bein' declared dead 'n all, dig me? Thanks, by the way," he says to Charles. "For not fixing that just yet. I kinda like the freedom."
"Don't mention it, my friend." Charles replies simply. "You'll have as long as you like, as far as I'm concerned. And thankfully that's quite a bit at this point."
Though a heavy sigh is directed towards Raven. "Oh come off it please," he pleads, and then glares at Darwin, adding, "And you needn't encourage her! It's enough I have to put up with that officially now without you lot picking it up, really.." he walks over so they're all able to face one another, shaking his head in a tragic manner.
"..Can't sleep?" he wonders though. "Something on your mind?" She'd asked him to keep out of her mind, and he's tried. But sometimes it's less a matter of not eavesdropping and more hurriedly covering one's ears against another what might as well be shouting, like Darwin's little musical show minutes before. Admittedly right now it might not take a telepath to tell something's wrong, and maybe that's the point to some degree.
"I'm worried." Mystique answers rather bluntly, taking a seat on the arm of a chair. "I know, he did a lot wrong - but... He's a good man." Her hair flits from red to brown for a moment. A vision of Erik being casual, reading a book, enters her mind stringly.
Darwin tucks in his chin abruptly -- momentarily confused -- and then slowly lifts it again, releasing a long, silent 'ahhhh' as he understands who Mystique means.
"Magneto still kickin' it to the wrong music, huh?" he asks with a raised eyebrow back at Charles. "Why, what happened to him?"
Charles Xavier's own jubilance has drained at Raven's comment, but he quirks up a small smile before glancing away. "Yes, well... That's the question, isn't it..? I've not been able to locate him, I'm afraid. Especially with Hank's device still not repaired. It's rather more difficult without government sanction, as it happens -- There are some materials that have proven especially troublesome to track down. Though.. I have a feeling we wouldn't be able to find Erik anyways until he wants to be found." his tone is light, but as one who tends to know how others are feeling, he's never been terribly goof at keeping his own emotions hidden. It's clear Raven is hardly the only one troubled by this state of affairs.
"I know. And I know he can take care of himself. But..." Mystique sighs, forcing a smile. "It's not right that he has to suffer. He only wanted what's best for all of us." She glances at Darwin, but says nothing.
With a light snort, a turn away of his face, raised eyebrows and hands, Darwin takes a step back and half-seriously, half-jokingly says: "Hey, don' look at me -- I never liked the guy."
Then he lowers his hands and gives Mystique a look of sympathy.
"Okay, okay. I'm... worried too -- sorta -- I'm just sayin' that cat always had this 'I'm too good for you' thing goin'." He stops. "And the dustiest taste in music -- y'know, like yours, Professor. Well, didn' he?"
With a rather affronted tone Charles replies, "I hardly think that a taste in classical music deserves to be perjured as 'dusty', Armando!" he sighs, as the title spreads, just as he had dolefully foretold.
But even as he sags dramatically, he pauses, going thoughtful. "..I'm not worried." he says quietly. "Wherever Erik is, he decided to be there. Whatever he's suffering, I'm certain he's doing so by own choice. ..And when he decides to return, then he will. He knows where to find us." Charles shrugs, straightening up to smile. "..And that's all there is to the matter."
Mystique smiles, a bit more openly. "I like dusty songs too, Darwin." she teases. She regards Charles with eyes more amber than yellow. "...You're right. Erik can mind himself. I need to have faith in him." Her blue skin shifts in tone, a bit more purple now. She seems to be enjoying shifting herself.
A brilliant white grin gets flashed at Mystique -- to match the gleam in similarly white eyes -- as Darwin catches her response, and he steps over toward her to put a brotherly arm across her shoulders.
"Yeah, but you got moves, Sister!" Then he glances over at Charles and winks, letting go of Raven. "You could make a desert cry wi' those skills." Darwin claps his hands together, once, and does a half-walk, half-dance a few feet in the direction of the cafeteria.
"Don' know about you two, but I gotta eat somethin'. 'Less you wanna hit the town in my new ride?"
"Actually, I could do with some fresh air, I think." Charles says, turning about to back towards the front door while keeping the others in view. "Raven..?" he wonders, and his brow furrows a little as he notes the change. "..Are you alright? You've gone all purple." he helpfully points out.
Mystique stands, stretching a bit. "I am a bit hungry as well, especially if one of you gentlemen is paying?" she teases. "..." She shoots Charles an annoyed look when he calls her Raven but lets it slide. "I'm what?" She glances down, and with a thought her skin returns to its usual dark blue. "I'm fine."
Darwin stops shuffling toward the cafeteria, beams, and spins the ball of his foot to head toward the front doors instead. He doesn't stop to wait for his friends, but continues at a jaunty step across the Atrium, opening the doors and stepping through without a word.
The moment he steps outside -- in the cold, night air -- Darwin's form abruptly shifts. Within the space of two seconds or so, he has grown pale fur from head to toe, horns on his head, and claws on his hands and feet.
He stops, looks at himself, and slaps his sides in exasperation.
"Came here a black man," he laments -- knowing full well that Charles can hear his thoughts, if not his words -- looking back at Xavier and Mystique through the window. "Come out a white guy. Next thing, I'm sippin' tea an' swingin' t' Wagner with the rest o' yo' dusty English cats, too!"