1963-12-18 - Secrets and Libraries
Summary: Psylocke and Fantomex enjoy a cup of tea, conversation, and Chaucer.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
psylocke fantomex 

Psylocke is new to the school, having arrived yesterday. Ororo had insisted she stay on-grounds rather than rent a room in the nearby Salem Centre, so she had agreed. Seated now, in the library, at one of the green arm chairs, Betsy is reading from a book while quietly sipping on a teacup. She is wearing a black sweater and dark purple leggings that are belled at the ankles hiding her black heeled shoes. Her purple hair is draped down her back and laying over the chair's fabric. She quietly turns a page and continues to read.

It was at this point that a man walked into the library. His brown leather Italian shoes made no noise as they pressed against the tile flooring. He wore off-white trousers, more than beige, but not quite brown. A nice leather belt, with a stylish buckle held them up. And over that, he had on a white pullover, partially zipped up. Around his neck, it was clear to see that he wore a polo shirt beneath it, as the azure blue collar showed through the gap. But the strangest part of all was his mask. He wore a mask with what looked like some rigid plates in it. His eyes were exposed, but the rest of his face was concealed. He was Caucasian, as his hands were visible, and there was the skin around his eyes. His eyes matched the polo he wore, and they were inquisitive. Curiously, he presented no psychic signature. And he wore a nice cologne. David Beckham's Instinct After Dark.

He moved towards one of the shelves, running his finger along the spines. He brought that finger up to his face, rubbing his forefinger and thumb together. Selecting the dusty book, he moves to take a seat opposite the woman. He decided to start a conversation, and he spoke with a French accent. But there was something about it. He wasn't a native speaker. In fact, he may have been English. "I often take the dustiest book, and I'm rarely disappointed. My name is Jean-Philippe."

Betsy may or may not have known that the man was there, that he had entered the room and that he was nearby… she didn't show any sign of it until he spoke though. That's when she looked up from her book and then over to her side, her dark eyes staring at him and his weird mask. "This is a school. The dustiest books tend to be the books with the least amount of pictures in them." She replied to him, her own accent was a mixture of British royalty and Japanese, it was a strange mixture, but it sounded good all the same. "I am Elizabeth, but most call me Betsy. However, I prefer Psylocke." And with that said she put her eyes back upon her book in her lap. Her body language was stoic and reserved; she was well trained and very reserved/calculated in her motions.

He asked rhetorically, "why would anyone need pictures in a book? You form the pictures in your mind." With a shake of his head, he smiled. Yes, it was clear that he smiled even through the mask. Oddly enough, his eyes seem to be darting between her and the pages of his book. It was as if he was simulstaneously reading, and giving her his full attention. He also changed pages fairly quickly. But, when one has three brains, it does make multitasking somewhat easier. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Psylocke." He extended a hand, and if she gave it, he would lean in to kiss it like a gentleman, even through the mask. The cloth was unusually soft too, almost silk-like, but without the sheen. It had a matte white colouring.

Sadly, for him, she did not reach out to take his hand. She did not trust men in masks and in-fact, she was nearly ready to psychicly probe this man to ascertain his true identity and why he was talking to her. Yes, she was a professional model so she was used to men talking to her, but generally men did not— "Why are you hidiing behind a mask when in the confines of Professor Xavier's school?" She asked him boldly then. "Do you not trust the school's safety? Are you hiding from someone within it? Are you disfigured beneath the mask? What are you looking to gain by keeping it on?" She said all of this in a casual tone, and she turned -one- page after asking these questions of him, staring at him with a flat expression and no real other body movement.

Jean-Philippe continued to read his book as if nothing had happened, his eyes darting between her and the book throughout, but he sat back in the chair. "I was born in Leytonstone, London, England, on August the Twenty-Fourth, in 1942. While still an infant, I was abducted by the Weapon Plus program. They performed experimental augmentations upon me, to turn me into a super-soldier, if you will. I was subjected to all manner of psychological testing, holography, and other less savoury procedures. It's left me with trust issues. Oh, I am certainly an affable man, and forthcoming, but only to a point."

He brought a finger to his mask, pressing it near his temple. "This ensures that no one," and he says that with conviction, "will be able to mess with my head. Fool my senses as you wish, but I will never submit to those kinds of ministrations again. When the opportunity presented itself, I escaped. I began a career a thief, as I found I have a taste for the finer things in life, and it was the most expeditious manner in which to gain wealth. However, I selected my victims with care, adopting a Robin Hood approach." Throughout this, he's been speaking with a very prim and proper English accent.

He then pulled his mask up, to show his nose and a little bit of his hair, but he would only pull it up halfway. "As you can see, the lower half of my face bears no markings." He then pulled it down, all while still reading his book. He must have been about 50 pages into it by now. He was a very fast reader. "When I learned of the X-Men, I asked for sanctuary, and in return, I offered a not inconsiderable amount of knowledge of the Weapon Plus program, as well as several other shady government programs, and a few, shall we say, independent efforts."

Psylocke, sitting perfectly still, listened to every word he just sort of motor-mouthed out right then. She blinked her eyes once (she was wearing dark purple eyeshadow that matched her hair) and she replied in-short. "Oh. I see." She said to him.

Her eyes went back down to her own book on her lap and she read at a more normal… pace. "I am sorry that you were experimented on." She said while looking down at the pages of her book. "At least you have escaped and you are now able to create a life for yourself." She glanced back up at him then. "But you should take the mask off. You are going to bother everyone you interact with while wearing it. People like to see the faces of those they are near by."

His accent changes back to French. "Yes, a life for myself, where I live in a school with a literal and figurative crosshairs on it. I'm a mutant. I'm an internationally renowned thief. By the way, the next time you're in you Louvre, see if you can spot the fakes? I happen to know that there are at least five." Before she can complain, "I didn't steal from the Louvre, but I did steal the originals. Does it bother you that I wear this mask? Are you so jaded that you can't accept someone for who they are, regardless of how they look?"

Psylocke stared at him when he said all of that and then she tilted her head gently to the right and showed a faint frown. "Please." She told him dryly. "You do not 'look like a man wearing a mask'." Her head straightened again. "You -are- a man wearing a mask. As such, yes, it bothers me. I come from a place where men in masks, equate to death on the doorstep. If we had been anywhere but this school, I would have already engaged you to -force- you to remove the mask. There are people… after me, who want me dead. They to, wear masks. So yes, it 'bothers me'." She glanced back down to her book then and flipped another page.

At her suggestion, he paused in his reading. He closed the book. He was around seventy-five pages in by now. He brought his fingers to his chin, or where it would be were it not concealed by the mask. He stroked it through the fabric. Then he got up, and walked towards the library door, closing it, and locking it. While still at the door, he seemed to breath a sigh. A heavy sigh. His breathing was different, as if he were fighting a mini panic attack. But, and this was excruciatingly slow. He turned around while at the door, and slowly walked towards her.

As he did. He pulled his mask up. First, it rose above his chin, then his lips and nose, and, he stopped. He made eye contact with her. He breathed out another sigh. And he raised the mask up, carefully keeping it around the back of his head, over his hair, but he rose it enough that she could see everything but his ears and forehead. He left it like that. "There are people after me, and they are using some powerful telepaths to locate me. If they ever did, this school would be at risk."

He knelt so that he could look at her, eye to eye. "You, Elizabeth, Betsy, Psylocke, are the first person to see my face, in years." He, this was really bothering him. His was fighting it. But it was clear, either he was one hell of an actor, which was quite possible, or he was opening up to her. There was just something about her.

Betsy closed her book when she heard him shut the doors and then she leaned back in the chair and she watched him do all of this. When he knelt beside her she stared at him. "I, am a powerful telepath." It was true, she was. But her telepathy was activated and deactivated by choice and she did not have it 'going' at the present time.

She stared at his face, but showed no real reaction to it. She was in the modelling industry, she saw beautiful/handsome men all the time. "You may put it back on." She finally said in a quiet voice. She did not need telepathy to see that this odd man was uncomfortable and thusly why he was likely here within the land of Professor Oz and his emerald palace. "Why would you share such a private thing with me then?" She inquired. "Are you so easily swayed by the feminine gender that I can merely ask you to do something and you 'hop to it'?" Because that is how she interpreted it at this stage, that she was pretty and he was intimidated by it, attempting to garner her affections through bowing down to her requests… something else she was familar with in life. She had been pretty even before the body swap.

With the mask now back in place, he seemed notably calmer. "I know what it's like to be hunted. I know what it's like to have your world turned upside down. And, I do not wish to bother you, Psylocke." He rose, taking his seat again. "And no, I am not easily swayed. But, your words, they hit me, right here," and he touched where his heart should have been. In actuality, it was in a different spot, but he didn't want to divulge that. He was not intimidated by her in the slightest. But he was probably trying to garner her affections. "I do my homework. I knew you were a telepath before I walked into the room. But, I still walked into the room. And, I did that." It still troubled him. "Would you have preferred that I continue to bother you by obscuring my features?"

"Do not 'research me'." Psylocke warned him with a scowl as she looked back down to her book. "I am not here to make friends with people. I am not here to make 'lovers' with people. I am here, because I am troubled and I seek solutions to my problems that I believe the Professor can give to me. If I am wrong, then I will leave and never be seen here again." She turned the book over in her lap and then suddenly rose up to her feet. She walked gracefully and almost silently toward the bookshelf that she had pulled the book from. She slipped it back into the space that it belonged and then stared at the spines of some of the other books, considering what to take with her back to her room.

"When there are as many people after you as there are me, and I know you can sympathise with that, I just find it a good precaution to know the people in the room before I enter it. That said, I would far prefer to get to know you in person. You don't want to make friends, fine. You don't want to make lovers, that's also fine. But I am here to make friends. I know that there are some amazing people here, who can do great things, and that I can help them, in my own way. I would very much like for you to be one of them. But, that's for you to decide. Regardless, whether or not you reciprocate it, I will always be your friend, Elizabeth." And then, seeing the section she was looking at, he asked, "Have you read Chaucer?"

"No. I have not." Psylocke said to him as she progressed down the bookshelf and hadn't taken her eyes off of it since arriving at it. Her left hand went to the wooden shelf in front of her mid-torso level and she gently moved her fingertips down the wood as she walked slowly and eyed all of the titles on the spines of the novels. She reached the end of the book shelf and glanced back at him. "You will make many friends here." She said to him. "If you continue to talk as much as you do. For that, I am certain." And she disappeared around the edge of the bookshelf. Should he pursue her, however, he'd find that she was gone. She had used one of her powers and slipped into the shadows of the bookshelf, vanishing like a spirit.

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