1963-07-08 - Fools and their Gold
Summary: In Mutant Town, the devil and angel on Nightcrawler's shoulders have some news about his parentage.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
rogue raven nightcrawler 

Mutant Town:

It was an eclectic mix no doubt, mutants of all walks of life come to just be themselves and partake in the local shopping district. Some of the mutants hang out on stoops, snapping their fingers and listening to the broadcasts of newest songs upon the radio, often attempting to mimic the voices they hear and harmonize right along with them. Some children skip along, holding hands and playing double dutch just to pass the time until their mothers called them in for lunch.

Raven, in all of her blue glory, remains upon her own stoop, acquisition of a brownstone right in the thick of it gives her a chance to partake and let her red hair down to be free. Yellow eyes nearly look on with interest as the block fills with people. Some mutant, some not. Some friendly to the cause, others just passing through to get to a new part of the city as quick as they would. Cars.. buses.. trolleys..


Mutant Town, a smaller sliver of New York City, covers the same multitude of faces and languages found elsewhere. Listen long enough here and someone might hear French, German, high frequency bursts, or interstellar tongues from the mouths of babes and elders. Here people of every colour, be that white or yellow or red or black or purple, can share the experience of mutual oddity without overt judgment from one another. Some hide their oddness better than others, and the normals might receive a sharper look than a kid covered in pyramidal keloid spikes or the girl with hair like razor wire and titanium thorns. It's important to outline the strange because the redhead walking under a paper Chinese umbrella in no way stands out as odd. Maybe that she wears capri pants and an embroidered Indian tunic, a stack of cheap metal bangles on her wrist. The collision course of Far East and subcontinental cultures on someone who could be a poster child for Ireland is, of course, interesting. More interesting might be the destination she leaves, a pool hall where scrupulous bouncers look for proof of mutations before permitting anyone in. Going out is another matter. Rogue isn't far down the street, sunglasses pulled down to perch on her nose. Whatever else someone can take away from her guarded stance, she has the pleasure of a good mood radiating out from her like the sun. A rose pink peony dances from the end of one of her braids, tracing curlicues while she walks.


The kids in Hell's Kitchen were likewise called into lunch and potential naps in the heat, leaving Kurt with time to kill. He already straightened up the apartment he was currently sharing and grabbed something to eat. Now he was bored. There didn't seem to be anything to juggle…he was already trying to keep his acrobatics on point at the playground. Mutant Town had become more and more interesting and concerning for him, especially since he started working there, so he decided to pay the place another visit.

After all, he usually only saw it at night when he went to work.

Getting there was easy now that he knew where the place was. It took only a couple of teleports before he lands, perched on a fire escape near the bar. A couple of jumps and swings and flips and he's on the ground right near the bar. He could go in…but he knows what it's like and he will be back there to work in the evening. For now, he might just want to see who, and what, are out and about during the day.


It would be real convieniant for Raven to actually have a brownstone that was close enough to the bar. She often partook in activities that involved liquor, enough so that it took her out of the teetatoler range and into borderline alcoholism.. but that smell.

The smell of old booze and cigarettes hit the street which had her eyes squinting, her hand pressed up to rub lightly at her nose as she slowly brings a foot down to stand. The blue skinned woman shifts as she walks, skin rippling like waves to bring off a peach colored tone, her red hair flourishing into something of a strawberry blonde, yet her eyes remain yellow. Not for sinister effects, just pure laziness.

"A young lady like you shouldn't be in parts like that by her lonesome.." She calls out towards Rogue, a slight grin upon her face as she afixes the sling upon her shoulder. Her hand was still idle, pressed and wrapped beneath her leather jacket. Bound for safety, at least!

Right when she was about to say something else out of the norm, her footsteps stop briefly to take in a slight gasp. Kurt. She did -not- expect to see him still here in this city.. Though.. why would he even listen to her?


What's there to be worried about when she wields a perfectly sensible bamboo umbrella with pointed tines that could inflict a nasty scratch? The warning gives the redhead pause. Painted oil paper turns in a neat rotation, tilting back to reveal the young woman's face.

"A shame a girl can't take a walk down a sunny street without someone trying to harm her." If Savannah, Georgia had a child with New York, they'd sound just like her. She blows out her breath through round lips. "I hope no one's giving you any trouble." It may never dawn on her anyone wants to do the same to her, the idea so remote. But then, normals…

The gasp does give her cause to look back over her shoulder as a precaution, though not one that has her tensed up much. A quick survey shows no imminent doom in a big metal robot structure, falling missile, or something at least obvious. Her eyebrows rise slightly, and she arches her eyebrows at Raven. Not clear what that's about, but apparently blue devils don't have the shock value in Mutant Town they do everywhere else. A friendly wave is sent back that way to Kurt.


Nightcrawler doesn't recognize the shapeshifter — why should he? Not in her new form, at least and most likely he didn't see her in her blue form. He's used to gasps and looks of shock and he isn't sure it should be that different in Mutant Town. Rogue's wave is returns and met with a bright smile before he makes his way over to her. Ever the polite one, he offers a bow to the strawberry blonde before he notices her yellow eyes. "I like your eyes," is complimented with a grin before he reaches out as if to take Rogue's hand and gallantly bow over it. "Lovely to see you again! Are you a little far from the Village? Do you need to get back?"


"Oh. I doubt any harm would come to you around these parts. There are some of the most sweetest and most darling mutants to every grace this planet that live in this very community." And Raven was telling the truth. When she did attempt to move in quietly, she was caught. And when they caught her?

They gave her food. Fried chicken, potatoes, corn and apple pie for dessert. If Raven had the need or want to cry? She'd be doing it right then. "I've not really met any trouble, not yet at least.." Thoughtful, for the moment she was, but that was all there was once Kurt draws himself near.

For if she were human, this would be her natural form (sans eyes), only wearing this form around trusted few and often times in the public with modifications there out, she'd be hard to recognize if most didn't know her name. So she didn't balk or become upset when Kurt didn't recognize her, but once he reaches out to try to take Rogue's hand, her own skin draws on that blue toned color.. scales ahoy with a snap of that one hand.

"Thank you. And you should be long gone to Germany by now. Tell me you did -not- forget our little conversation about your safety?"


"Delightful to hear it. Of all places in the city, I hope they're friendly here." The redhead smiles, and she reaches up to idly twirl around the umbrella. Flowers parade around the central bamboo axis, a spin of vermillion and unnatural buttery petals outlined heavily in black China ink. Scarlett, as she tends to go by, gives a warmer smile as Kurt decides to join them instead of running off to join a parade or teach drowsy kids long division.

She casts a little shade by altering the angle of the umbrella, sharing with Raven. "This day keeps dawning a little brighter. It's good to see you, Herr." One word of German is wielded with a punchy bit of pleasure, a token of learning. "Were you supposed to be traveling? I hope it wasn't to get away from the incident on the playground." A little tightness around her eyes is hidden by the sunglasses, but the stress is there in her tone. It only grows when Raven keeps him from leaning over her hand, the stiffening of her spine nothing next to the concealed widening of her eyes. Someone might as well have thrown ice water over her.


Nightcrawler's hand pulls back as the other girl's turns a more familiar blue with scales. It's his turn to gasp and frown at the other woman, "I have not forgotten the conversation, but why do you think Germany is any safer than here?" He looks about the neighborhood before straightening and pointing out, "Germany had these ghettos long before America did. Maybe one day I -will- go back, but I will be no safer there than I am here." In fact, he feels safer here than he certainly did when he was most recently in Europe!

"Who are you to tell me what to do and how to live my life?" He then looks to Rogue, "Nein, I am going nowhere. The boy on the playground was an Idiot. I hope he learns to be kinder to people."


The shade that crosses over her due to the umbrella allows at least a shadow and a twinge of regret to be hidden. Perhaps, on this day, she should have stayed inside. Not venture out, just stick to listening to the radio or taking a nice slumber just as the doctor had ordered. But no. She opened her mouth as soon as she saw him, that unconscious need to self sabotage bubbling to the front as she looks to the young woman and man with a slight step aside to stop being a barrier to their affections.

"He was supposed to be returning home.." Raven murmurs defiantly, her eyes cutting up towards the sky as her lips purse ever so tightly. Screw it. She was already on the path of self destruction, first her brother and now.. the prodigal son. "That is where I left you and that is where you -should- have remained." Her eyes snap shut, fingers lifting to pinch at the bridge of her nose, her hand soon drawing away to fan a little bit at the air along with a shake of her head. Too many actions, all within a matter of seconds.

"Wait. What happened with what boy and what playground?" Her tone was a little light, even though it was a little too late for maternal instincts to kick in. Or maybe she was just nosy.


Perhaps it may be better in the greater span of things not to touch the young woman, for she is the walking Pandora's Box put down on earth by celestials with a terrible sense of humour. But the sheer buoyancy of the young woman's mood is leashed, a manic glow to an otherwise hot day in NYC in the summer. Scarlett retracts her hand. She rests her palm against her chest instead, curling her fingers around the grooved wooden handle of the umbrella. Three commensurate turns leave the shadows rotating in turn, shifting as sunlight glances off the tines and stretched paper spread between them. Nonetheless, her smile stays in place, and that southern charm refuses to budge an inch because manners triumph over all lesser activities. "I am so happy to hear you'll be staying with us a little longer. That's just wonderful to hear."

The unanswered question raised at her provocation, it stands to her to solve it. So the redhead does, looking back towards Raven and notably her expression, telling so much and revealing so little. Shoulders back, she says, "An acquaintance of ours was taken by surprise at Kurt, and put his foot in his mouth. You were patient, and yes, he is an idiot. A well meaning one, but good intentions don't do much for hurting other people's feelings. I do hope he didn't bruise you too much?" The tension in the moment isn't quite able to dent her sunny nature, but the bohemian is fighting a battle there to stay in good spirits.


"Was?" is asked with a quick turn of his head to the blue woman. Or…partially blue woman. "What do you mean you left me in Germany?" He lets Rogue speak about the incident on the playground; this is holding his attention. "Why should I have stayed there? Germany tried to KILL ME!" Maybe it's Rogue's calm and cheerful demeanor that prevents him from getting too upset over the fact that someone…some stranger…wanted him to die in his homeland

"I have been called names before. But to think that I was a Nazi because of my talking was stupid."


If 'Scarlett' was intuitive enough, she could probably tell a few key things about Raven's facial features. Fear. Trepidation. Regret. The distant haze of a memory that crosses someones features once they see or hear something long recognized. It could have been a smell, perhaps. Or the look that Kurt had flashed her. But underneath it all, whatever exterior she tried to project was one of infinite sadness.

"Oh." She finally murmurs towards Rogue, Raven has certainly gotten that before about her appearance. Perhaps it was that moment of self consciousness that allowed her to finally introduce herself. "I apologize. I'm Raven. Raven Darkholme." No hand was offered, but a free one pressed to her chest and a dip of her head in a half respectful bow.

Kurt's question purposely went unanswered, for there was something else there that was even a little bit more shocking than necessary. "Th.. You were supposed to be protected." She murmurs quietly, then takes a shake over her head. "Nevermind that." She takes in a slight sniff, then shoves her one good hand into her pocket. She needed to get back to her brownstone. Her stoop. Go inside and.. do something -else- than to speak with those two.


Thanks not a little to the dreadful influence in her psyche, shattered to pieces as it may be, grant Scarlett a particularly keen ability to read trouble. Emotions are somewhat more difficult, but a sensitive soul as hers exposed for art and enlightenment gives a hint of grounding. As Raven sets the tone, the inevitable response is shielding oneself from private grief and worse. The umbrella slanted low again conceals much of the redheaded belle's face from view, giving a barrier to the others for their own time to mourn. To consider. To dissemble. She can only guess.

"We're twenty years past the war, almost. Calling someone names like that was uncalled for." Polite words supplant a distinct hint of displeasure about the situation when Kurt met the nasty side of American xenophobia. She wrinkles her nose and her tensed shoulders pop, smoothing out under the caftan she wears. "No need to apologize. I have to guess you're old friends?" Eyebrows arch to the bow delivered to her. Seeing that's how formal it will be, she closes her umbrella and holds the object in one hand, sinking into a curtsey. A proper actual curtsey. *Horrors*. Miss Manners would be nodding grimly from her desk if she were there.

"I am delighted to meet you. Scarlett." She gives a smile that way.


There's a name. That's a start. A unique name that seems to suit the woman who talks about him as if she knows something. "I was," Kurt offers quietly, "Until they took them away too." He looks down at himself and gives a toothy yet very wry grin, "I did not fit into their idea of the perfect person. But I did not die, so I won." That's how he's looking at it. His attention, however, is on Raven as if trying to suss out what she knows just by staring.

He then looks to Scarlett as she introduces herself to the other and asks if they know each other, "She tried to scare me away not log ago. Before the riot." His eyes glance back at her for that, putting a couple of puzzle pieces together. He then offers quietly as he takes a step back, "Even if I live a hundred more years, I will never forget what happened. I hope -no one- forgets." Twenty years? It could almost have been yesterday.


Raven begins to walk. Whether they follow her to her stoop or not is up to them. It wasn't as if it was far to go. It was -right-, next door. "Twenty years past or no. There is still war." Though, back then, she was known as Natasha Kosinov.. until she grew world weary and tired and took up residence with the Xavier's. Her stolen family. The thought of her old family in mind allowed her that moment to channel her brother.

"Then it is up to us to teach and for them to learn. You say he was well meaning? Then the other cheek should be turned and correctness should be taught." She smiles.. then frowns. Ew. Charles.

As Kurt speaks, a look over her shoulder towards him and a snap away hides that frown. Her hand reaching up to press against her cheek to rub idly as she finally makes it to her stoop to hop and plant her ass upon. They were gone. It was a wonder why she did not hear those updates. But then again.. Germany was not a nice place to begin with. Where they were, was.

"Obviously that did not work." Snappish? Just a little. "But you do have family in this city. Possibly a small town over." She was willing to offer up -that- much at least. There was even a considering look gone towards Rogue. She couldn't tell if the woman was mutant-kind but.. her brother loved all sorts of people. Even if there was a need for Rogue to seek solace, he'd accept her with open arms.


There is still war. There is war in a street, war on the lips. "A friend of mine said much the same, that we were still at war. I will tell you what I told him. I know what war in the news reels looked like, and I know what tanks rolling on a field or planes in a sky look like. A war of another kind, I just don't know." The pretty redhead shakes her long braids, the peony swaying on the breeze. Shadows burn in the Saint Elmo's fire filing her gaze, a cauldron so intense a green that Ireland hasn't even devised a word in Gaelic for it, that terrible intensity sizzling away. Don't dare look too close.

The tilt of her head towards Kurt is friendly enough. She doesn't move to touch him, but she will escort him in an air of protective grace that doesn't so much stifle as watch at a distance. "We can't punish every young person when they stumble, can we? What happens when people make mistakes, how will they learn? Maybe there is a line between an error and an unforgiveable choice. But I," says the southern belle, "am not sure my judgment is the right one to decide that. Checks and balances are supposed to stop us from reacting with terrible force, and starting a cycle of violence that won't stop until we're all ashes in the sky."

Ew, Charles. Ew, MAD. But this is what you get for a girl who is bubbly with emotions for all the right and wrong reasons.


Nightcrawler follows Raven as she obviously knows something…and she's not spitting it out! He looks to Rogue and even offers her a smile as she escorts him some. "It is only a war if we make it one." He's not the most philosophical, but he offers, "When I was with the Circus, people did not hate me. They loved me because I made them happy. The Circus made them happy." It wasn't until he went into their churches that they started the attacks.

When she mentions having family outside of town, he frowns, "Not you too? You are going to tell me about this school where everyone is safe and happy and does not care what another looks like? A school for mutants?"

"Ach, mein Gott, es ist ein Kult!"


"You will." Raven murmurs to Rogue. Though it was unclear if everything spilled to the streets of the normals. Certainly, there were news afoot. And certainly, she was sure that some of that would lead to her very doorstep. Today?


One foot is lifted to bring a bend of a knee as she hooks the heel of her shoe upon the stone, her fingers digging briefly into her pockets to retrieve a pack of stogs which were soon tossed into her lip with a shake of the pack. The lighter was soon withdrawn, her fingers struggling to open for just a tick before her yellow eyes were lifted, lighter held out towards Kurt for him to assist in the need to damage her lungs further.

"This is why we teach the young. Teach them to not be like we once were, or our fathers and mothers before us." That look remained upon Kurt for a time, pulling away, shoulders raised defensively. Though she does agree with Kurt as well. Not that she'd say it.

There was a little look of amusement upon Raven's face as Kurt speaks. "Do not use the lords name in vain." She snaps her fingers quickly. "Yes. I actually was about to tell you about that school. Your connection to it runs deeper than what you are. He is your uncle, the man, Charles Xavier. Younger sibling to your mother."

And how would she know that?


It isn't until someone starts picking up submarines and hurling missiles into the atmosphere that superpowers start complaining about Mutants. It's not until they take jobs or apparently get a promotion and a nicer house that Americans sit up and complain. Or, you know, they murder someone in cold blood from twenty miles away using a focused lightning strike or a virulent poison or toxin from a handshake.

The rest of the time, the redhead chooses to be absolutely silent. Family is not her bailiwick. That means knowing her own damn name. Instead, she stares off towards the sun, shading her eyes with her hand. The umbrella is still held with an easy grace that keeps anyone else from taking her hand, a blessing of sorts for them given their volatility can trigger her in ways she cares not to venture. Those glorious boots of hers shine white, despite all things, as New York is hardly pristine and clean.

"That makes life interesting, the nephew of Professor Xavier? That will warm his heart, if true." Scarlett knows the professor? Damn straight. How would she know that? Two years tenure as a something or other, as it happens.


Nightcrawler takes the lighter with his three-fingered hand and easily strikes up a flame. "I am teaching children not to hate. But it is not the ones who look different that we need to teach. We need to teach everyone else. Hiding away in a Kultische School is not going to help with that." There is a slightly contrite look as he curses and he's more than happy to go on until Raven drops the first bomb. "Was?" is asked again even as he looks to Rogue as if she might have some sort of answer. "My uncle? You know my mother?" He has family that's alive?

Wait a minute.

His own yellow eyes look to Rogue, "You know the man too? And the school?" Back to Raven. "Du." The lighter is handed back to her.


It was fascinating. The times that Raven was away from Charles, he's managed to make a name of himself. The prophet of the mutants. Yet she in turn will be their shield. Or.. if he was right, their downfall.

Raven watches Scarlett with a smile. It was a genuine one, one that allows her skin to crawl to return to the new normal, yellow eyes now blue as she takes a lean, allowing her stog to fall into the line of fire as she pulls with puffed cheeks and tightly pursed lips. She leans back to let out a torrent of smoke towards the air, then mutters jokingly.. "Or give it an attack."

Yeah, Raven practically fucked up that man's life and she knew it. But he was better where he was instead of close. "But goodness, the way you swear about that place.." She shakes her head, then chuckles.

"Make no mistake, Kurt. No place is safe, happy, and filled with sunshine. No matter what reputation that school has." She smacks her lips. "Yes. And in a sort. Yes." She reaches out to take her lighter, then gestures towards Rogue to describe the man. "Professor Charles Francis Xavier. He's your uncle. And he would love you."


"I'm fairly sure that he is immune to heart attacks, and if not, there ought to be someone around who can fix it." Rogue has considerable faith in that fact, or she can be particularly flippant where it matters. Some might divulge for, and she does not hasten to explain further. Every breath fails to imprint much smoke. Raven can have nineteen cigarettes in her mouth, and other than an odd look from the redhead, they will not warrant an unwelcome response. So go ahead, light up the whole pack and add a few more for good number. Or tuck a joss stick among them. No judgment from that corner.

She shakes her head softly. "There are places safer than others, and you can do better by your efforts to make them ideal. Like you have been doing with the children. Don't stop because someone said it wasn't possible. That would be the greatest loss of all, someone who was trying and halted on the worry of another."


Nightcrawler takes a couple of steps back as Raven confirms his accusation/realization. He looks to Rogue, "You know of the place?" It really is like some sort of strange convergence of all mutants telling him about the place. It's weird. And creepy. Even to a Catholic. But finding that a woman claiming to be his mother purposefully abandoned him in Germany, never asked about him during the War, and actually told him to go back is alive, well, and related to the head of the School/Cult?

He may be calling in sick to work as this may necessitate raiding Fury's liquor cabinet.

As it is, he shakes his head as if in disbelief and right there, without any warning, he teleports away.

This is going to require thought. A lot of thought. And hard spirits.

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