1963-08-18 - Of Hair and Dignity
Summary: Three girls from Xavier's walk through Central Park to get one a haircut. Hijinks ensue.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: None
kitty illyana jean 

Central Park is not the safest place to spend time these days, but the muggings haven't deterred all people from spending time in the inner city green sanctuary. Walking along the edge of the park, bound for a particular venue where they can help someone blend a little bit better, three young women are already discussing the most important topic of the day: Illyana's hair.

Kitty glances upwards towards the skyline absently before allowing her chin to drop. "I think you should keep it long," her lips twist thoughtfully to the side, "ish." Because Illyana will clearly understand the ish on the end of the sentence. "I mean, I'm a fan of short hair, but all of the magazines I've collected," aka important research, "suggest that it's just not something women do, really." Her lips purse, "OR you could go really trendy and get something that flicks out…" her head cants to the side and she taps her chin. "No. I think if you have long blonde hair, keep it. Those of us who have to resort to shorter 'dos' will…"


Illyana looks like she's got a bird's nest atop her head— the blonde locks are growing a dusky color, and increasingly more tangled and matted. Her hair care regimine mostly consists of washing it with hot water, then combing it out with her fingernails. At least she's /washing/ it, though it's going to take a few more treatments from Kitty's shampoo to undo literal years of greasy buildup.

"Short would be easy," she argues with Kitty, stubbornly. She's trying very hard to figure out how to eat her ice cream cone— there's just no clean way to do it and she made such an awful mess of trying to lick the cup of sweets without upsetting it. "I can wash it with soap instead of shampoo. The boys all have their hair" she tries to take a mouthful of ice cream and gets nowhere "keep it short, and" she growls, fighting her food. "it seems to wokr really well for"

With a muttered oath, before anyone can stop her, she takes a GIANT bite of her ice cream!


Jean was just quiet. There were no amount of words that were kind enough to comment on Illyana's hair. None. What so ever. So she does what she does horribly. Focus on some spot upon her towering ice cream cone, tackling it with as much gusto to keep her mouth shut while it's full of proposed food as she was taught.


Where Jean would say something horribly crude and out of touch with the reality that others were accustomed to, she goes for a compliment. "I think it looks adorable sometimes." That was a lie. "But if you want, Illyana, I can give you my brush. My mother always said to brush in the morning, in the middle of the day, and at night to keep the tangles away." Has anyone ever heard of a jew fro? Not in this time! "I like your long hair though. I will brush it tonight." One could literally see the Demon of Torture casting a shadow over Jean's head. As nice as she says it, there was an implied tone of 'this will happen and you have no choice in the matter'. "Can we sit down?"


Kitty squints at Illyana and then back towards Jean with a quiet air of help writ across her face. She focuses on her own ice cream cone for a few beats, keeping the sticky mess from becoming all the messier. She is mostly unsuccessful, but doesn't give in to giant bites.

She hrms quietly at Jean's assessment. "Short hair is fiiiiine," she's trying so hard to be diplomatic, "but you don't want to look like the boys. If," her eyebrows draw together as she leads the trio to a nearby bench, where she takes a perch at its edge, "you get short hair, I think maybe not short-short…" While Kitty longs to help, she's not entirely sure she's being remotely helpful, or how to delicately suggest such changes. "And while boy-short hair is easy, it's not really… pretty." Again she casts a look towards Jean, wholly convinced she's saying the wrong thing. "And you don't want anyone to confuse you for being a boy from behind." Although Kitty can't really come to explain why because she doesn't really know — just decades of her mom modelling and urging femininity in her only daughter seem to mean it's important.

"Shampoo is nice. And you'll like washing your hair eventually. Honestly! I look forward to washing my hair! And having someone else wash it? That's a dream. You'll like it," probably. Kitty's legs cross at the ankles as she finally leans back against the bench.


Illy starts to sit on the bench, working up a response, but her expression… well, she's a taciturn girl by nature, but her expression starts working through a complicated serious of emotes. Surprise, discomfort, pain, some pleasure, more discomfort, then horror.

Abruptly she spits the entire mouthful of ice cream on the ground between her bare toes (having not quite mastered the whole 'shoe' thing), and makes several pained, animal sort of noises, flapping her hands in the air. She flings her cone down on the ground, too, wincing and trying to grip her temples with slimy, cream-covered fingertips.

"GAAAH!" she finally shrieks, attracting more than a few looks— and then for good measure she swings her palms in a violent motion at the ice cream. There's a surge of heat and light and the ice cream vanishes into the middle of a charred, six-inch circle.

"I think— I think— I think I'm dying!" she gasps, eyes screwing shut.


Jean's brows lift as she continues to feast upon the ice cream, her hand lifting to wipe away at her lips with the back of her hand as she tries to follow along with the conversation. "Well, from behind.. I think she has a nice behind and would not be mistaken for a boy." Jean points out. Wrongly. She was supposed to be on the side of longer hair! "From the front, she has breasts. There is no mistaking that. But.. perhaps we could cut off the tangled parts that won't become tangled… " She stops in her sentence to take up a perch, and take a lick of her ice cream. "… and then go from there. Give her bangs."

It was settled. A new idea was forming in her head of the many styles that Illyana could possibly pull off. And it was interrupted by a 'gah' and a *thom!* of the ice cream that was splattered upon the ground like a worn lover. "Sweet Kennedy.." She spurts out.

It was a freak out time, Jean didn't know what the hell was going on. Incapable of putting two and two together because of her naive demeanor has her immediately tossing her ice cream cone into the air to try to rush towards the blonde girl with her hands flailing. "What's wrong?! Who hurt you!?" Green eyes cast a dark shadow along the park. While Jean was not battle ready she was surely going to pitch a fit.



Kitty isn't paying enough attention to really recognize the problem at hand when it starts, which is why she nods at Jean's assertions about the bangs and getting rid of the tangled bits of hair. "Right! That's a good idea, we can work with — " but the words are completely absorbed by the violent pain that Illyana seems to endure. Her mouth parts, and she leaps off the bench to spin around the park.

Following Jean's lead, she also tosses her ice cream and is immediately at Illyana's side. "What's going on?!" But unlike Jean, Kitty slips into defence mode. Her chin lifts, hazel eyes scan the area for unfriendlies, and without seeing anything, panic sets in. Her jaw tightens; she can only keep them safe if she can see an attack coming.

But then Kitty Pryde has a defensive ace that rarely fails.

Instinctively, she reaches for both of her friends, aiming to grasp them, even if momentarily, to bring them all into intangibility. Nothing can touch them if they're incorporeal. "Let's move! We can get out here fine!" she asserts as her eyes continue to scan the area. After all of the odd things that have gone on in the park lately, Kitty isn't taking chances…


"My head! My head, it feels as if it's being split in half!" Illyana screams several times, stamping her feet, gripping her temples.

Then, she blinks rapidly, and looks up. "Oh. It seems to be going away. How odd," she says, her voice growing more calm and reasonable as the brainfreeze slowly comes to a stop. She eyes the molten circle that was once her ice cream, nudging it with her toe, and sits down rather calmly on the bench, wrinkling her dress with little regard for the clothing.

She runs her tongue around the inside of her mouth several times, jaw working comically, then shrugs at Jean and Kitty. "I do not think the poison is very lethal. It's swift, though. Good thing you two stopped eating your creamed ice as well," she says, with a serious look hovering over her pert nose.

"Are there boys that look like me, then? Piotr says I'm too skinny, but I'm not sure what that means."


They looked really silly. Ready to fight the world over a simple little ice cream headache.

Jean takes Kitty's lead, moving to the defensive, her hands drawing away from Illyana to drop into a stance that only Alex and Piotr would be proud of. (If she were frothing, then Logan would be happy.) But as Illyana returns back to normal, Jean.. kinda.. just stares. Righting herself, looking to Kitty, then down to her hands and back up again. Okay, that was kind of cool. With just a touch they were practically invincible.


Ice cream.. poisoned? Jean slowly slumps her shoulders, her hand reaching up to pat Kitty's as she slowly dislodges (politely too) from her grasp, settling down upon the bench with a flop and a flump. She realizes what happened just then. And a wave of depression hits her as her tongue still remembers the vanilla chill that hit her tongue. So rich. So smooth. So delicioso..

"I'm sad." She finally murmurs quietly. And it was written all over her face. The hair talk was gone from her now. In fact, it would be fitting if clouds slowly drew their way over the three and rain drops begin to fall to mask the tears that she wants to let loose. Even her slightly red lips were curled into a sad clowns frown.

And nevermind the body language she possesses as she practically melts into the bench which oddly hikes up her dress one way and shrugs it another. Eeyore has nothing on Jean. "There are no boys that look like you. Well, there's Angel." That man was an adonis! She was still sad though.


Blink. Blink. Blink.

Incorporeality quickly suspends and Kitty's arms, defeatedly drop to her side. She remains kneeling on the ground a few beats — her knees suddenly aching from the feeling of ground beneath them, especially when she had skidded on it so hard.

Openly she stares at Illyana, the cogs of her mind working to try to recover some grace and dignity from her very clear overreaction. Her chin drops to her chest, and she heaves a heavy sigh as her eyes stare at the ground in front of her. Kitty's fingers meet the earth and she presses herself up to a stand — her light wash jeans now complete with grass stains.

Slow, purposed steps take Kitty to the far end of the bench, issuing the sad Jean a small pat on her shoulder as she passes. Her lips twist to the side, and she inhales a deep breath only to let it out slowly. "Yana," she begins slowly as she attempts to explain ice cream to the other girl, "you had something we call brain freeze." Her lips purse and her nostrils flare, "It's a biological nerve thing when suddenly we have cold touch," she reaches into her own mouth and tries to physically touch her soft palate to show Illyana, "har — " with her fingers in her mouth enunciation goes out the window. "It wasn't poison. So. If it happens again…" her eyebrows arch. "Just wait on it. You will be okay."

An apologetic glance is cast towards Jean followed by a faint arch of Kitty's eyebrows, further punctuating the point. She does, however, let herself get back to the topic on hand: hair. "Well, I think what Petey," her cheeks flush a pale pink, "means is he's concerned you're not eating enough. But he gets worried easy. So." Her fingers clasp lightly in front of her.


Illyana promptly sticks most of her hand into her mouth, mirroring Kitty's gestures with a wide eyed curiousity. She wiggles her finger against her palate, blinking, then withdraws her hand and without ceremony wipes it on her dress, which is now wrinkled /and/ sticky.

"A body thing. I see." She gives her ice cream a baleful look, but then Jean mentions Angel and Illyana pinks on her ears. "I am quite sure I do not look like Angel. I have seen him in shorts. Which I don't understand— Strange yelled at me for walking around in my slip, but Angel gets to be naked?" she says, frowning. "Not that I suppose I mind that he is undressed, but he doesn't get yelled at."

She wriggles her toes in the grass again, ignoring Jean's sudden fit of hyperbolic melancholy, and cocks a brow at Kitty.

"'Petey'?" she says, a bit pointedly.


"Ice cream headaches. We were duped." Jean longily looks towards her fallen ice cream, a sad siren song of cadence playing within her imagination as she lets out a deep sigh. Ugh. Her life. Over.

Though, listening to Kitty and Illyana does bring up something that she has meant to ask about. A little girl time would do that to someone. There was a slow build of life within her bones as she slowly sits herself upright, dress soon pulled down to its right porportions, her eyes sparkling as she looks up towards Kitty, both fingers clasped against each other as she presses her knuckles to the lining of her jaw.

"Yesss.. Petey.." Jean says in a sing song voice. "I forgot to aaaaaaaaask…"

And then she explains: "So, me and this cat-guy named Keith pretty much forced Piotr and Kitty to go to a diner on a proper date. I can tell by the butterflies that I feel in my chest that it went -wellll-." She drops her hands into her lap. "Though.." Her eyes squint, wanting to nudge to get all of the details for herself. But.. she's mindful. For now. Waiting for an explanation. "..what happened?!" Cue the girly squee.


Cue brain meltdown. "Peter. Pete. Piotr. Your brother." Kitty's eyes hone in on the ground in front of her and her face feels hot with flush. "Just another name." Her eyes widen as Jean goes into full-blown girl-mode. So much for being casual about the name slip.

The question about the date, however, causes a stupid smile to tug Kitty's expression sky high. Her head cants to watch both of the other young women, and her fingers tug compulsively at the hem of her shirt. Try as she might to subdue the smile, even mention of the date has it permanently etched across her features like some kind of fool.

Her hands scrub her face instinctively, attempting to wash away the idiot smile that consumes her features, but it's a fruitless endeavour. "It did go well," she can feel the blush spreading to her ears. "But I am a terrible date! A truly terrible date!" Again her lips twitch, fighting the smile that won't go away, and giving way to a prominent dimple in Kitty's cheek. Again her hands press up to her face before she forces them down self-consciously. She casts Illyana a sidelong glance, nearly comically as she notes, "I'm an only child, but I feel like hearing about a date with your brother could be yucky… I can save details for Jean later if you want to be spared — "


"Butterflies in chest?" Illyana stares at Jean's breastbone as if looking for actual lepidoptera swirling around near Jean's thoracic cavicty. She blinks and shakes her head, neutrally— clearly recognizing there's a gap in the language, somewhere.

She looks confused, then, sincerely so, and rests her heels against the bench near her rear, putting her bare, wiry legs very inappropriately on display. "Date is… I can't parse this word. Too complex," she admits. "You seem happy, though, so I suppose any time you spend with my brother is good?" she offers, haltingly. "I was young, we wrestled often. He was always big but he let me win. Did you two wrestle? He is good wrestler," she remarks. "National team scouted him once, but he does not like hurting people, and… well, other reasons he does not wrestle," she concedes.

"I hope he did not pin you though, he is entirely too large."


Oh, now Jean was psyched. She was already sitting upright in her seat, but a forward lean shows that Kitty had her attention. "You are a horrible date? Noooooooooo…" Jean's head shakes repeatedly. That was something she wasn't willing to believe. If she was still calling him Petey, well, that date went very, very good!

Illyana's observations and words has Jean turning red and giggling, full on cupped face, her eyes sparkling through the show of her fingers. She had to know. She really, really had to know.

"Did you two have sex?"

She started it.


Kitty's brain has entered full-blown meltdown mode.

Her eyes flit between the pair of girls and she tries to work her thoughts again. "N-no!" Kitty asserts with her hands splayed in front of her. Her eyes blink hard as if trying to regain some form of composure and dignity, but it's useless.

It's then that she sees the need to clarify, leaning forward in her seat, "I mean, yes," towards Illyana, "your brother is excellent, but no we did not wrestle! Definitely didn't wrestle! No wrestling!"

Her head turns towards Jean, "And no, we didn't have sex! I'm sure that was the farthest thing from his mind! I'm certain of it — " As she says the words, she's positive her Jewish grandmother has just rolled over in her grave. " — well maybe not the farthest, but he was a perfect gentleman! I swear! Nothing happened!" Thanks to being put on the defensive, words spill out of Kitty in nearly incoherent babble, "I mean, things happened, but not that!"

Kitty's usually light skin has taken on a deep red, such that she's pretty sure her embarrassment will never fade, "I just held his hand and sidled against him and kissed him! Nothing remotely like wrestling! Remotely! He wouldn't presume to even suggest — " Because protecting Piotr's reputation is apparently important. Her own? She doesn't even try to defend.


Illyana makes a face. "Sex is disgusting. Perhaps get him drunk. Perhaps get yourself drunk," she suggests to Kitty, looking rather ill at ease. "Perhaps I should be drunk. I am finding this mental image very unsettling for some reason," she says, looking puzzled at her own emotional reaction even as it makes her squirm, her bare knees wiggling in the air. She stares into the distance, then makes a retching noise in the back of her throat and shudders in the awkward stillness between words.

She glances at Kitty sidelong, curiously, then winces and shudders again, the mental track clearly not done playing out. "Ugh," she says, shaking her head.

She looks at Jean, then, rather boldly up and down, then points at her nose from the short distance. "You are sexing Logan, I think?" she asks the redhead. "And Kitty wants to … sex Piotr," she says, curling her lip into a moue of disgust. She seems to have some hangups about sex. "Angel is pretty to look at but… no. I would let him merely walk around naked, I think. Or Scarlett. Scarlett is pretty too. She is…" She holds a hand out over Kitty's head. "Taller than Kitty, but—" she holds her hands parallell to Jean's svelte curves. "Slimmer than Jean. That is acceptable."



At least Kitty was telling the truth! There was a little spider crawl of fingers against the other, like a greedy child wanting a piece of cake. Yes.. this was all very interesting. And they kissed. That means relationships are blooming and finally everyone will be happy. Those Rose colored glasses she asked for are working! Maybe..

"But he would once you two know each other better. So I suggest you plan another date pronto!"

Ayep. Jean is encouraging coital relations between her two friends. Why not? -SOMEONE- has to get -SOME- kind of action around here!

Further laughs were afforded for Illyana, sex was inevitably disgusting but this was hilarious. Until her own 'relations' come into play which has her completely horrified. "WHAT?! Me? Nooo no no no no.. you got it all wrong." And.. here is where shit gets pretty darn.. well, pitiful. "I've never had sex. And Logan is like my uncle. Though.. it's a little bit more personal than that." Nevermind her recalling on the memory of when she first met him, her own little situational PTSD that nearly makes her sick to her stomach. Though, the prospect of watching Warren walk around naked has her shutting up.

Her thumb is soon pushed against her lips as her finger teeths against the nail of it, her eyes planted upon the grass as she finally wakes up with a little.. 'huh'? And down to her waist her gaze goes.. and an arm to cover it.


"That!" Kitty points towards Illyana, "That is why I asked if I shouldn't discuss this in front of you. Like thinking about your parents together," with a visible shudder, a disgusted noise emits from the back of her throat, and wishes desperately for some mind bleach.

"I — " Kitty will never be normal-coloured again. She's quite certain her entire body is now covered in blush from head to two. "I — " she starts again. But denial doesn't exactly seem positive. "I really like Pete. A lot. But I've never," she shakes her head only to snap-point at Jean. "I've never had sex either." Her teeth toy at her bottom lip, "And I'm painfully shy. Plus, so is Pete! Gosh! I'm not even sure he knew I liked him before — " Her hands uncomfortably clasp together, "And I think he's constantly afraid of breaking me. He's always so gentle when he hugs me or puts a hand on my shoulder. I'm actually pretty hard to break, I mean, I can always make someone go through me if it's a problem — "

A bashful smile draws across Kitty's features at Jean's encouragement for another date, "I was a pretty terrible date. Sincerely. He kind of said he'd ask for a second, but I was bad. I did all the things a person shouldn't do. Like overshare. And overstep physical boundaries. And not get to the restaurant to eat… SO. I'm leaving the ball in his court."


Illyana rolls sideways and without invitation puts her head in Kitty's lap, as if it's an action she's done a thousand or more times. She chews on a straggly lock of her blonde hair, thinking, then rolls over and props her knees up with a casual indifference to decency in her skirts.

"Belasco made large point of telling me sex would weaken my powers. I don't know if is true or not. I know I do not like how he stared at me— so is perhaps for the best. By time I was old enough to think about sex, there were no men in Limbo except him and the idea of him—" She shudders and falls silent.

There's an awkward moment as Kitty languishes in embarassment, Jean in her trauma, and Illyana in the recollections of a decade of imprisonment.

"You should ask Piotr to date again, Cat," Illyana says, voice made distant by thought. "Always remember him being very shy. Once or twice, scryed on him from Limbo. I think perhaps, here you must be bold, because dear brother will not be."


Jean stares owlishly towards the grass, her head tilted slightly. "Is it bad that when I think of my parents together, I see them with both of their reading glasses on, sitting on seperate couches and drinking wine?" It was like her brain refused to get past that image. It never has, and never will. "And they're quiet." For some reason, poor Jean thinks /that/ is disgusting.

But she listens to the two women, the three damaged women upon the bench with their own brief tales, her legs soon crossing as the upper begins to bounce in a form of comfort. Her arms still remained wrapped around herself as she quietly agrees with Illyana's remark.

"She's right. I.. think you should just go for it. I think women are a little bit more forward thinking now a days. Just do it. There's nothing to lose, and he's a very sweet man. Besides, didn't you say that he would like to take you out again?" Jean points this out. Then quiets. "Fortune favors the bold. And all of that swell stuff."


Illyana's head on her lap garners a moment's surprise, but Kitty adjusts easily, fingers gently massing Yana's scalp while it's well within reach. She inhales a slow deep breath and offers towards Jean's parental image, "That's probably okay. No one really wants to think of their parents together." Her stomach lurches at the thought. A comical smile draws over her lips, "When I was little I used to tell mine I was an immaculate conception. Because the thought of them touching," she frowns and shivers again, "Ew."

Illyana's quiet encouragement echoed by Jean has Kitty silencing on the subject. Pensively, she stares at a spot of grass and sucks on the inside of her cheek. "I don't know," she offers softly. "I think he's the kindest, most sincere, most stand up man I ever met. And I'm just me." Her lips twist to the side, "Awkward science girl who talks to much. Yup. Me. I'm just me." She inhales a deep breath only to let it dramatically let it deflate moments later. "He did say that. Alright. I will ask him. I will make a plan and I will ask him. Probably."


Someone goggles a bit at the sight of the three girls— all of them dressed quite properly, and none of them sitting like young ladies. Illyana's bare knees sticking up in the air, Jean slouched into comfortable disarray, and the young Jewish girl is the only one of the lot who looks halfway respectable, and she's petting the wild-haired blonde using her as a pillow!

"He is all of these things," Illyana agrees, though an assessment that Piotr walked on water would be met agreeably. She does fairly worship him, at least when he's not in the room. "You are also Shadowcat. You are mighty and courageous and clever. And Piotr likes you. I like you." She shrugs her bony shoulders— the entire argument seems, in her mind, quite moot after that statemeent. With both of the Rasputins vouching for Kitty, who cares what the world thinks, right?


"You will." And if Jean has to do it for Kitty there will be absolute hell to pay! In the form of Kitty trying out Jean's cooking for a week. Yes. Prepare the antacid! Even though she doesn't let this plan be known, she does look out across the park, then leans over to take the heel of her shoe to peel it off and shake out. Yes. They all do look normal, really. In their own world.. this was a quiet time that Jean positively enjoyed.

Except for dropping her ice cream. That bit.

As much as she wanted to stay, she decides better of it. And with a lean over to smooch Kitty's cheek, she stands and gives a stretch, her shoe dangling from the tips of her fingers as she lets out a fairly manly grunt. "I'm going for a walk." And that was pretty much that. Her mind was made up as tactfully as it could have been. "You girls be good." A turn and a bend allows her to smooch Illyana's forehead, then a quick upright to avoid any swats that may come her way. With a slight hop and removal of her other shoe, she allows the other to dangle as well as she heads deeper into the park. All head in the clouds and la la la and bunnies.


Kitty actually snickers at Illyana's agreement, completely endeared that even siblings seem to have an easy rapport with one another. "And here I thought siblings were supposed to be rivals," she smirks as she runs her fingers through Yana's hair again. "I'm glad you're here with us. You're good people, Yana. Truly." If a little socially awkward.

A chuckle emits from the back of Kitty's throat at Illyana's assessment of her, "I like you too." There's a small tick of Kitty's head as she notes, "Sometimes I just have such a hard time understanding what Piotr is thinking. He's like a mystery! But thanks, I think he mostly likes me. More often than not." Her smile turns lopsided.

The smooch on her cheek earns a broad grin and a nod. "Just be careful! The park is a bit sketchy these days!" While not a mother hen, exactly, Kitty has been put on alert around here. Turning her attention back to Illyana, she observes, "We still need to get your hair cut." Pause. "Here. I'll make you a deal. I'll invite your brother on a date the next time I see him if you get a haircut today." She lifts a finger, "And, I won't chicken out. I'll do it. Even if it's in front of other people."


"Da. If you do not do it, I take you both to Limbo and leave you there until you agree to date," Illyana says. She lets Kitty pet her for a few more seconds, then rocks to her feet and stands up, her dress badly wrinkled and hitched in spots from her casual disregard for the clothing. It's getting grass-stained, dirty, sticky, and what's worse, Illyana genuinely seems to think she's taking /good care/ of her garments.

"So, haircut now, da? Then date later." She offers Kitty a very firm helping hand up off the bench.


"Right," Kitty agrees firmly. "And I don't want to go to Limbo. So I won't chicken out," probably. Of course, deals are deals, and Kitty wouldn't dare not follow through once a deal is struck. Illyana earns a soft fond smile at the state of her clothes followed by a small nod of Kitty's head. "Yes. Haircut now. Date later," she squeezes Illyana's hand and slides off the bench. She gives a small tick of her head in the direction they should head.

"We just both need to be brave. It's only your hair and my dignity on the line." She shrugs, "No big deal, right?"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License