1963-11-16 - Expecting Guests
Summary: Emma Frost and Lorna Dane visit the Xavier Institute, in the hopes that they can discover what connection might exist between Lorna and Erik Lensherr.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
magneto lorna moira xavier emma 

The weather has been odd lately. One day it was unexpected rainfall, the next, hail. On this early evening, as the sun finishes setting against the western horizon, it is clear, and remarkably warm. 75 degrees.

One Erik Lensherr is expecting guests, and he's dressed for it as well. Pleasantly tan trousers, a white collared shirt, brown suspenders, no neckwear. A knit jacket covers his frame, and his hair has been freshly greased. In his breast pocket is a finely folded handkerchief, and as he waits upon the front driveway, he's puffing at a pipe.


This is probably the earliest that Moira's gotten back to the institute in weeks, but she left work a bit early, was extra careful about getting back to her apartment, and then came straight back up here. It's an annoying little dance, being certain that Weapon-X doesn't follow her here, but it's an important one. So, she's only just now walking through the front door, a cute little, professional appearing pencil dress on her frame. It's a deep green with a notched collar and white buttons. Her hair is still drawn up in a tight bun, out of her face for the long day working in a lab. She arches a brow as she sees Erik dressed as he his. "You're looking dapper, Erik….Crystal coming tonight?"


Quite capable of arrival by helicopter or the like, Erik's guests instead arrive in a snow white limo with the license plate FROST03. Once the gate opens, the car pulls up the drive and circles to a stop, before the white-liveried driver exits and comes around to open the back, offering a hand to each lady as she exits the vehicle, the younger followed by the - only slightly - elder.

When she emerges, Emma Grace Frost is the height of aplomb and grace. It's the sort of poise one cannot help but identify as 'regal.' A queen in white. Indeed. Emma accepts the hand graciously and stands from the car, then steps clear while gently guiding Lorna by her mere presence, never touching the young woman with hand or mind. Her crystal blue eyes gaze out at the mansion, the grounds, and then take in the people who are waiting, before focusing again on Lensherr. The real reason they are here. "Good evening. Thank you for seeing us."


As Lorna exited the limo, she was still freaking out over having ridden one, (It was the first time she had ever sat in one, how cool!) her gaze swung round to land on the two waiting at the front entrance to the Xavier Institute. Nervous energy abounded in her movements, from her rocking her weight upon her heels to fidgeting with her hair between her fingers and nibbling on her lower lip.

While Emma was in all white, Lorna was in contrast. A skirt if deep orange twirled around her calves, and a deep olive green top that nearly clashed. Her brown hair was combed back and in a ponytail tied off with a matching ribbon into a neat bow and she smiled warmly at the sight of Moira and Erik. She waved, and smiled briefly. One hand sneaking into her pocket and taking out a twisted form of a paperclip—which she continued to twist between her fingers.



It would seem a good many people are converging at the front of the school for various reasons. In Charles' case it's a mix of recognizing the pleasant surprise that is Moira arriving on the grounds early, as well as the oddly expectant sense coming from Erik lingering at the front of the house. "Crystal's already here." he comments to Moira, stepping over to her to take her hand and press a welcoming kiss to her cheek.

A puzzled look is turned on Erik however, just as a certain limo is driving up to deposit it's passangers, including—

Charles' blinks, rather startled to recognize someone he had very much not expected to find turning up here of all places. "What's this about?" he inquires, surprised Erik of all people wouldn't mention planning something like this.


Its a subtle gesture, but the attentive might notice Erik's hand moving in tandem with the wrought iron gate as it opens, then closes behind the limousine. He turns to regard Moira with a whimsical smirk next. "Not exactly. I am expecting guests, and a proper chap never dresses sloppily for company."

With that said, he retrieves a snuffer and extinguishes the pipe, then leaves the stopper in before placing it back into his jacket.

Erik gives Moira a lift of his eyebrow as the two emerge from their auto, then glances toward Charles as he joins them. "Lorna Dane, and her Headmistress, Emma Frost. I understand they are bringing with them a sample of Miss Dane's blood, and I intend to share some of mine with them."

That said, he strides forward to meet the arrivals, a light but pensive smile upon his face. "Miss Frost. Miss Dane. May I welcome you to the Xavier Institute?"


Moira's curious smile softens just a bit as she sees Charles. She happily accepts that kiss on her cheek and leans up to kiss the side of his mouth as well. It seems they weren't bothering to hide their affections any more and she had no issue about that. She squeezes his hand gently, but doesn't interrupt the discussions between he and Erik. As the revelation of who those guests are comes, she arches a second brow and nods.

"…Well, it will be very good to make proper acquaintances." Moira states warmly. Then she turns her head to study the two which just arrived. Emma gets a long, slightly curious look with that neutrally warm smile on her lips, but her smile deepens as she sees Lorna. "Lorna…I'm very glad you could make it back. And Miss Frost, it is an honor, finally. I'm Dr. MacTaggert. I've heard lovely things about you… I'm also the one who has already processed Erik's blood so… it should be an easy matter to finish the other half of the tests."


"Mister Lensherr. Doctor MacTaggert. Thank you kindly for having us." Not yet introduced to the other man present, Emma doesn't put a name to Charles yet, though she is curious; there's so little outward emotion to her that it's hard to tell what she thinks or feels of that. Even for the telepath, as the usual lightly brushing awareness of her mind encountered another mind she does not know, and instantly retreated into a gleaming tower of will that does not yield. Only the most keen awareness would pick up the heightened tension, but as it has been there since before she actually climbed out of the car, there's no great difference.

"I have a sample of Miss Dane's blood. But to assure accuracy, I thought the Doctor might prefer to draw another sample here, this evening, to match accordingly?" Emma doesn't say 'to assure the sample we're giving you is legit and actually Lorna', but the implication is there. She may not be a genius scientist, but she clearly knows enough.

Emma's ice blue eyes stray to Charles again, perhaps wonderingly, and clearly is staying very aware of her surroundings. She is not in complete control here, and that is not something she appreciates. She does give a minute gesture which encourages her liveried driver to head back to the driver's seat and pull the car out of the way, rather than standing around waiting to see what happens.


Lorna fidgeted again, as was her wont to do. Peeling the paperclip from one hand and letting it leap back to the other. She did this several times as Emma spoke of drawing blood again and she bit the inside of her cheek at the thought. The young girl clearly disliked needles, even thought of them. "Will it take long to figure out? Er.. for the testing Miss Moira?"

then Lorna's gaze was shifting toward Charles, though she had no idea who he was, she offered him a smile as well.


No, definitely not expected. Charles still looks a little dumbstruck, but as Emma's awareness coils in defensively he thinks to Erik a touch ruefully, <Really, this is exactly the sort of reason I prefer to be informed as to new visitors…I would have preferred a touch more warning before you unknowingly invited over a telepath, my friend.>

Despite the aside, Charles pats Erik's shoulder good-naturedly as he trots down the stairs, one hand tucked in the pocket of his slate green slacks. Not having been warned of company, he's dressed in a comfortable navy sweater over an oxford shirt. A bit warm perhaps for the erratic weather, but he hadn't anticipated it ending up quite so nice a day. He doesn't seem the least bit self-conscious of the less polished appearance however as he smiles to the two arrivals. "Lorna, today's the day, then?" even if they've not met, he's kept up on her situation. "And miss Frost, I've followed your work with interest. Charles Xavier, a pleasure to finally meet you." he offers his hand to them both, though in Emma's case shaking it will likely solidify any suspicions she has about who's mind it was she felt fleetingly. At this point he sees no further point in hiding the fact. In many ways this is probably a meeting rather long over-due.


There's a bit of awkwardness between Charles and Emma. If Erik, as perceptive as he can be, is divining it, it doesn't show, at least upon his face. For the telepaths, especially the one who knows him well, there is something… 'off' about his psyche. Something isn't quite right. When Charles speaks to him through that telepathic method, it becomes a bit more obvious to him.

<Really, this is exactly the sort of reason I prefer to be informed as to new visitors…I would have preferred a touch more warning before you unknowingly invited over a telepath, my friend.>

The words are in the mental voice of Erik, but they trail behind Charles' much like that of a single slap-back echo; like sound echoing briefly within the confines of a very small cave.

Erik doesn't seem to have noticed it. Instead, he glances toward Charles after a beat too long, as if it took him a moment to actually 'hear' the message. <That's why you're here, old friend,> he answers.

No weird echo, that time.

Erik waits for the others to make their greetings, though Lorna is the recipient of an approving smirk and a nod of his head at her display of magnetokinetic practice. "You'll be floating automobiles in no time," he murmurs her way, before looking back to the others. "I wouldn't be opposed to providing a secondary sample. There's a term you use for it in science," he says, turning to Moira, then hesitates. His brow furrows. "I'm… afraid I can't recall the word exactly."


"A control. Or, well, a double blind, considering I do not know where the initial sample from Lorna was drawn. I can take secondary samples, or I can just trust that you all actually have interest in the truth and wouldn't mess with it. In truth…I think that is up to Lorna. It's her body and blood. I'd rather not have to marr skin again if I do not need to. Having blood drawn is traumatic enough…" Moira is gentle and motherly as ever, trusting that they are bringing her the right things and not wishing to cause even the pinprick of harm that comes with a regular blood draw. She reaches a hand out towards Lorna and Emma, "But,…if you'd hand over that sample, I can go downstairs and get to work on it now. It will take a bit of time but… I should be able to make a match within an hour or two. If a match is to be made." Moira explains gently, completely oblivious of the mental commucation going on between the men. She is far more worried about Lorna from the look in her pale eyes.


The keenly aware might catch the intensity that appears in Emma's ice blue gaze as she takes in Charles Xavier … and touch his hand with her own. Aware? Oh yes. And the questions, oh, the questions. But Emma is always in control; she demands it and will accept nothing less. So she shows no vulnerability, and asks no questions no matter how badly she wants the answers. "Mister Xavier." Emma offers, with a decidedly neutral, if not outright chilly tone. Yes, it is about time and more for these two to meet, but it seems both would do better with advance warning. It's going to be uncomfortable and tense. Still, Emma's strict adherence to etiquette has its uses; she would never be impolite.

When Moira offers her hand, Emma takes the one freed by Xavier and offers it to her with a smile, however chilly - it doesn't touch her eyes, but it almost never does - and then when asked she opens her briefcase-like purse, pulling out a sealed and labeled vial of Lorna's blood, complete with her name, the date and time of the draw, and a sheaf of paper with all of the testing already completed on it. "I assumed you would need this."

"Perhaps we should move this discussion off of your front porch?" Emma offers, by way of gently reminding people of where they are, as the limo pulls away to find a parking space. "If we do not need Miss Dane to give a confirmation sample, then perhaps we should gather somewhere close to your … lab? I assume you must have." She's trying to hide her startlement that the other woman has implied she can do these tests in a few hours; Emma's own labs took days, almost a week, to assemble all of the data she has in that packet.


Lorna bobs her head in a nod, not at all surprised that Xavier uses her name. She was quite used to being around telepaths by now—Emma and Jean both. She smiles, and continues to fidget with her paperclip, a faint coloring dusting her cheeks as Erik comments on ehr lifting cars. "It's just a paperclip.." She mumbled, "I can't even bend it how I want to yet.. or push it. I'm just nervous, so it's been sticking to me all day." She mumbled faintly, glancing toward Emma and Moira as her blood sample was handed off.

An exhale followed and she looked back down to her paperclip.


Charles likes to think he's fairly elegant about keeping up mental conversations in tandem with spoken ones.. but that bizarre echoing followed by a notably delayed response is enough to entirely pull his attention around. A baffled look is turned on Erik, even in the face of finally meeting miss Frost.

Disconcerting or not however, the spoken conversation marches on. Charles clears his throat, nodding. "An excellent idea, miss Frost. Besides, as the weather has been, I wouldn't trust it not to start hailing were we to linger too long. Shall we adjourn to the library, or would you care to give a second sample first, Lorna?" he wouldn't ask them down to the actual lab of course, but there is a first-aid room on the first floor.


"Ah yes, a control," Erik agrees. It's almost enough for him to miss that look Charles is giving him. Eyebrows lift, but he doesn't speak of it. Not yet, at least. Remarks of the strange weather remind him of the other night, when he ended up soaked by an unexpected downpour. "Yes," he says, drily. "Such a thing would be most unpleasant."

He turns with the lot of them, allowing Charles to lead the way. He walks a bit closer to Lorna, and looks her way with a brief smirk. "Guess we're about to find out whether we're long lost cousins," he jokes. The other possibilities have been… keeping him up at night.


"Indeed…I'm down to the labs, you can all settle in the library." Moira coaches gently, leading back into the house. She gives Emma a half smile, "I've spent my entire career on the forefront of genetics — especially mutant genetics — I've got a few tricks up my sleeve." She states gently. And it is true, if Emma has ever read any of the modern studies, Moira's name is on most of them. Most genetics advances made in the US have her work behind them in some form or another. So, she heads downstairs.

It's not long before she comes back up, where she gets second samples from each of them, so they have a double check, and she shoos everyone to get comfortable as she disappears downstairs again. No reason for them to stand around awkwardly while she works downstairs. It's well into the night, almost ten, when the brunette comes back up into the library. Her eyes are tired, a touch worried, but also at peace with whatever she's found. She looks between Erik and Lorna a few heartbeats, trying to figure out how to put this. But, with a slight breath, she somewhat realizes there is no reason to put it off, "Pardon, I…don't mean to interrupt conversation but… I finished the tests. Both sets. We got the same answer. Lorna… Erik… he is your father. You share fully fifty percent of the genetic markers I'd expect to see. There's no doubt of it."


Emma follows with the others into the library, only too happy to get out of the chance of freak weather, thank you very much. Those with such an awareness might pick up that she is a mite perturbed that Moira could manage to read her surprise at her speed, but she chooses not to speak of it. While she may be aware of the other woman's presence in the forefront of mutant genetics, she would never admit to that in front of anyone. Most certainly not. She's a businesswoman, not a mutant powermongerer. Seriously. Stop looking at her that way!

In the library, the conversation has likely run the gamut, and quite possibly touched on a great many subjects that initial meeting would usually avoid. Ever mindful of etiquette, however, Emma falls silent when Dr. MacTaggert reappears. She has the stage, and what a show it is. Her own response matters little, really, but she simply nods once, sharply and minimally. She had expected as much, given all she had herself found. But this confirms it. Emma cannot know what that will mean for Lorna, or for anyone else. But at least the truth is known. Her attention, now, focuses exclusively on the young woman who is her charge and responsibility. Lorna is who matters.


Lorna went inside with the same manner of nervous energy as she had on the steps, pulling the paperclip from one hand and letting to fly back like a magnet to her skin as she let it go. Pluck, release, pluck release. Yet as Erik jokes and eases back beside her she smiles, some of her tension leaving as she shrugs and pushing her hair back from her face. "Maybe," She shrugs, and falls into step inside the library, picking a seat and remaining rather to herself unless brought into direct conversation.

As Moira enters she falls silent, her green eyes locked onto the Doctor with an intent that one could rarely expect from a teenager. Her breath held as she waits for the results, her brows furrowed, until finally the announcement. Her father. What had been fantastical had become a reality. In less than a month she'd gone from knowing who she was and comfortable in her skin, to being adopted out of Poland and knowing nothing.. to suddenly not only being related, but the daughter of a man she'd run into by accident.

Her breath escaped her in a gush and she blinked in a stunned manner, her gaze flickering toward Erik as if awaiting /his/ judgement on the matter. She bit her lower lip, but was otherwise perfectly still.


The time waiting is spent for Charles puzzling over a great many things, none of which really ought to be dealt with here and now. Though he's as curious about the connection between Erik and Lorna as anyone. He keeps tabs on Moira's progress on and off while she works, thinking she might like at least that peripheral company. Though that may also be why he seems a little less shocked when the announcement finally arrives.

"Well," he says, in the face of Lorna's shock. "It would seem you both have more family than you thought. Would you both like some time to talk?" something that monumental he suspects might be better discussed without a room full of teachers and strangers.


While Erik does tend to be the quiet type, when he does speak, it is not for the sake of small talk. He's far more interested in observing the way everyone else interacts with each other, than he is weighing in too often. There's also a shred of impatience lingering beneath the surface. Moira was good, but no doctor can turn around test results with the snap of a finger.

When Moira returns, he turns to look at her expectantly, leaving his half-finished glass of brandy on an end table. When the news comes out, his eyebrows shoot upward, and his mouth parts in a quiet, very subtle gasp.

Of course, he'd come to suspect it. It's not a thing he's talked about, not even with Charles, but in his formative years after breaking away from Auschwitz… well. To say he'd gone a bit wild would be an understatement. It does little to dullen the shock, for suspicion and reality are two very different birds. He looks from Moira to Lorna, then to Charles, briefly to Emma, then back to Lorna.

"Well, I - … I'm…" He looks away from her and to Charles, blinking owlishly. "That… might be… the most appropriate thing, I suspect."

Back to Lorna he gives his attention. His face is a mixture of fear, happiness, and unpreparedness.


"…Yes…Ah… Why don't you two… well, catch up… maybe? Miss Frost? Charles? Let's go to the kitchen. I think we just got some lovely tea in…" Moira states in a none-too-subtle pressing. She hasn't even sat down with, the long day on her feet with that ever present crutch, is a rarity. By now, her hip is a miserable aching mess, but she wasn't staying long enough for it to matter. She gives both Erik and Lorna a game, gentle smile. "I know this is a shock but… I think it will be a pleasant one, in the long run. Take your time. Both of you." SHe even pauses at Lorna's side to give the girl's arm a tender, motherly squeeze, before she starts leading the way out into the hallway, her crutch-assisted steps easy to follow as she heads for the kitchen.


Emma's focus is on Lorna. She gently squeezes the young woman's hand to remind her that she is not alone, but says nothing, prods for nothing. When Lorna makes clear she wants to talk with Erik, Emma is prepared to depart, and accepts Moira's arrangement easily enough. "You know where to find us if needed." she offers, more to Lorna than to Erik, and then stands to follow the other two into the hall and towards said kitchen. "Thank you, Doctor, for being able to get Lorna the answers she has been uncertainly craving. I know it will be a huge adjustment for them both, but at least now they have the truth. The rest is in their hands."


Charles just offers the pair of newly confirmed relations a reassuring smile, nodding to Moira's suggestion. He doesn't know Lorna well yet after all, and he suspects Erik at least will make it well enough known if he should need anything.

As the trio steps out into the hall he shuts the library door behind them, giving Erik and Lorna some privacy. "…And perhaps we can chat a bit in the meantime as well." Charles remarks, glancing to Emma. "After all, it seems we share one or two things in common." a fairly gentle ice breaker, but he has to admit when he first noticed the intensely defensive woman through Cerebro, he wouldn't have expected to find her opening a school of her own, nor nurturing a frightened young girl with all apparent sincerity.


The dark haired woman is content to be mostly quiet, as the two different headmasters speak. She leads that practiced, limping way down the hallway towards the kitchen, not having been joking about the new tea. They all could probably use a calming drink. So, once they are inside the kitchen, she turns to the stove and grabs the big, old iron kettle off of it, moving to fill it with water so she can start it to boiling. She smiles gently to Emma, "Of course, Miss Frost. I… I am just sad we didn't do it sooner. So.. the healing could start sooner. I know Lorna has had a rough time of it. For…. what it's worth, I told her she's always welcome here, for some peace, or a shoulder to lean on… Or whatever she needs." Moira states in her gentle, motherly tone.


There is a part of the intensely self-protective Emma that wants to rail against Charles, as he tries to allude to opening up about their shared telepathy, and even more to what she sees as Moira's encroaching upon the bond she has established with Lorna, threatening the groundwork Emma has laid in trying to get the girl to trust her, and to open up and accept and work on her powers. It's all so unfair, how some people are able to be so warm and personable and make it so damned hard to tell them off for their presumption!

Emma settles in the kitchen, giving all outward politeness despite her unsettled inner state. "Of … course." she offers, only a slight hitch as she answers Moira. "Perhaps you should sit, Doctor? When the water boils, I can certainly finish such a task as preparing tea, even in a strange kitchen." She does not point out that Moira is in pain; that would not be appropriate. But etiquette demands she stop putting the onus on the woman who is less mobile, when she is not hired to be staff and serve.

"You are of course correct, Mister Xavier. We have many things in common." Emma offers as she stands and starts helping out with the tea prep. "We have both worked to assemble the fortunes and resources to establish programs to provide education, training, and a sense of belonging to young mutants. And, of course, we have both done so because we are mutants. Telepaths both, in fact." There. Band-aid ripped off again, just in case Moira had missed the telepathic memo.


Charles is already puttering about the kitchen, fetching down cups and saucers from a cabinet in a sort of coordinated routine while Moira goes for the kettle. He hasn't missed how long a day she's had, but he also knows how fierce her pride can be. Perhaps Emma's near weaponized sense of etiquette will hit it's intended mark, however.

Cups retrieved, Charles opens the refrigerator to collect some milk, meeting Emma's factual summary with an unperturbed nod. "Indeed. I'd been meaning to speak with you for some time actually, so in that sense this little coincidence is a happy one. It's good to know there are others trying to help those in need to excel."


Pride is a difficult thing. Moira would, very much, not like to ever have to admit to the pain of it all. But a day mostly on her feet in the Weapon-X labs and then a night on her feet looking over the samples, that's enough to down even the strongest of people in her state. "I'll…just get out the tea, then I'll sit a touch." Moira admits gently, pulling down the tea strainer and few different tins they have. Of course they have fancy tea here, it is a school run by a British man and a scientist.

Once the tea accoutrements are down, Moira limps back over to the table and settles in gently, a slight breath of relief escaping her lips. She'd be paying for the day tomorrow.


"Indeed, it is a shame you both hadn't met before. Until Lorna…I did not realize there was anyone else even trying to teach such gifted children. It's nice to not be alone. For both of you." Moira offers almost hopefully.


Emma is reticent and defensive, but even she can be wormed out of her shell of protectiveness with effort. "I must admit, that was part of the point, Doctor MacTaggert. I am, obviously, doing all I can to make sure that my own program remains covert, for the safety and protection of the students. I certainly do not wish to see the college become the target of mutant-haters, or hunters." Paranoia doens't mean they arent' out to get one. Witness a band of telepathic clones developed by Weapon X, of which Emma has no knowledge. Anyone want to guess whose eggs those were? Mmm?

"I am sure that my rather high-profile public persona makes it difficult to approach me surreptitiously, Mister Xavier." Emma isn't blaming. Or at least she's trying not to do so. "So, I suppose this 'happy coincidence' is just going to be the open door we both needed to encounter one another and each other's programs. I have been rather 'poaching' a few of your students, in a way."


"No." Charles replies honestly, turning about to face the two with his back resting against the counter. "It's very kind of you to offer that, but we both know I could have contacted you sooner. To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure just why you were opening your academy at first. You're a cautious woman miss Frost, and not without good reason. …But the students that you've been, as you put it, 'poaching' seem to think well of you. And that carries weight with me."


The dark haired woman remains settled quietly at the table. A touch of unhappiness crosses her face, and any feelings the telepaths are getting off her, as Emma admits to poaching. But it's a protective unhappiness, the thought of students she cares much about going somewhere she cannot protect or guide them, so they probably share those feelings. "…Covert programs are… wise, in protection of them, but… if scared young mutants don't even know of anywhere to go, then we aren't getting them the help they need. So… we walk a fine tightrope here…"


Emma inclines her head slightly towards Charles, as if acknowledging a touch in fencing. (Yes. Emma fences. Did you imagine otherwise? Please!) "As you say. But politeness requires that one make no assumption to another's situation or parameters unless backed by proven fact." And Emma has no proven facts, save those provided by Xavier himself. Just now.

"To answer the question you so politely alluded to but did not ask," Emma offers, with a momentary twinkle of amusement in her ice blue eyes, "I have several reasons for pushing for the establishment of the Frost Institute." Emma nods to Moira's point. "My first is precisely the very public reason I have given to the world: higher education opportunities for women and other minorities in our society are woefully inadequate to their actual potential. I benefited tremendously from the opportunties my wealth and privilege provided, and establishing the school as I have enables me to see that others are given those chances without requiring they share that wealth, or privilege." It is, to be fair, a point she has made countless times in countless arenas. But she is passionate about it, though Charles would definitely get the sense that while Emma is telling the truth, there is more to it.

Isn't there always?

"I have used the establishment of the Meritorious Education Committee to seek out those who would benefit, and provide them that opportunity." Emma explains. "And I have done so for mutants and non-mutants alike. But I have made a point, myself, of seeking out mutants and offering them those opportunities, because I feel they, most of all, represent a class of people who need the futures offered by higher education, to establish themselves firmly within society with the kind of power this society respects." A cold-blooded, but arguably very long-term and insightful goal.

"I have then sought out those mutants who join the college, in order to offer them training and practice to control and strengthen their abilities. It is the kind of training no one offered me." Emma was so very, very alone. There is a moment when even her prodigious shielding cannot quite contain all of the weight of emotion that wells up within her as she dwells, momentarily, on that time. Charles would almost surely pick up the kind of quailing horror that makes one thing of a lonely survivor of a real life horror movie, rather than a wealthy and distinguished daughter of privilege and power.

"I put the onus of finding those in need upon myself. I assume Mister Xavier does the same, and with similar opportunities." Emma adds.


As Emma's toweringly adamant walls are slowly starting to waver — and Charles can hardly blame her as that sort of effort would have worn him out by now as well — his expression softens. "For so many of us over a certain age, there was no one to teach us." he agrees. "But then who better to understand how vital a need that is to fill, yes?"

Emma in turn can likely get a sense for the deep care he has for the children in his keeping. And also that hope he holds close and dear that nurturing those children to enter the world as reasoned, compassionate and capable individuals will help lead to a brighter, more peaceful future for all of humanity. While he is cautious in his own way about this meeting, it would seem Charles Xavier is one of those rare oddities whose heart really is generally worn on his sleeve.

"And we should also know how desperately some of these children need that. And how important it is that that vulnerability not be taken advantage of for anyone's personal gain." that last is a partial shot in the dark from what he's gauged of Emma thus far.. but considering the almost calculating cast he gets from her thoughts, he feels it's worth bring said.


"Well, the children are rather lucky they all *have* you, now…Have you both, really." Moira chips in quietly, often just as heart-on-her-sleeve as Charles, though she's a gentle hand at it, not the burning, energetic fire he is but a soft, warm glow of charcoal embers. Otherwise, she doesn't chip in here. She realizes it's the two of them which need to talk. To forge a relationship. She remains as a supportive, quiet shadow at Charles' side.


The white-clad platinum blonde stands alone, a virtual iceberg in the sea of emotions that swirl around the others, doing all she can to be untouched and unwarmed by them all. "Enlightened self-interest is wisdom, Mister Xavier. I use my resources to find and help these young people because it suits my own desire to change the world. And if helping those young people accomplishes that, I would be a fool not to try. If that also means many of them are moved to want to repay that favor at some future date, I would be a fool not to accept the tacit alliance in question, for their sake and my own." Yes. That was the cold-blooded, almost Machiavellian ascribing a pattern of action not at all unlike Xavier's own, but without his idealism. Without his trust. Without the bleeding heart.

They were the words of a young woman who was taught in the most direct way possible that trust is a commodity none can afford, and that the only person in the world she could truly depend upon was herself. Betrayed by family, by love, and by friendship, Emma honestly has no trust left, save for herself. And yet she is doing this 'right thing' in her own way, even without that trust. Without that faith. Without that inner goodness. It's like a philosopher's perfect puzzle.


Not so puzzling to Charles, or at least he thinks not. Perhaps some would call it naivete, but.

"I'm not so sure that you truly believe that, miss Frost." he says, tilting his head with a small smile.

"You've certainly made a difference to Lorna. And she loves you for that, you know. So does Jean. Everyone has to rely on someone sometime," he says, a subtle squeeze given to Moira's shoulder. "And despite what cold logic might say of the vulnerability that comes with that, that's part of the strength of humanity, not a weakness." what he doesn't actually say aloud, but might still be felt is, 'you shouldn't be ashamed for still wanting that'.


The squeeze to her shoulder gains a touch of a smile and Moira's fingertips come up, slipping overtop his palm and giving him just a gentle squeeze in turn. Lovingly, really, even if it's subtle. "He's right, Emma. You should listen to him. He's a smart man…" Moira murmurs softly, though she's clearly biased in the matter. The gentle, loving loyalty between the pair is hard to miss. "I, however, should leave you master minds to it. I still must be up too early tomorrow to get back into the city and it has been a day…" She pushes herself up and out of the chair, leaning onto her crutch again. A brief kiss is given to Charles' cheek then she bows her head to Emma, "It was an honor meeting you, Miss Frost. You…are doing excellent work. Beyond excellent. If there is anyway I… we can help… WE will." With that, she lets go of Charles and begins the walk up the stairs towards the bed areas.


Emma knows too much psychology to fail to realize exactly what Charles has said, but she is who she is. She cannot yield, lest she break. "I have no doubt that Mister Xavier is quite intelligent." she offers as Moira prepares to depart. She nods, and waits while the woman departs before discussing further. She did say to leave it to them, so she is waiting until they are alone.

"I respect your point of view, Mister Xavier." Emma offers. "But you speak of vulnerability as strength, in a way only one who has never been completely and utterly bereft of any other support could. I have been that. I survived only by depending only upon myself, or I would still be a victim, trapped in my own personal Hell." The tone makes it clear: Emma will never allow herself to be in that position again. So help her.

"I will support my students, because it behooves my goals to do so." And because a part of Emma has long wanted to be a teacher, supporting and guiding students as she was once supported and guided, before she was betrayed. "I appreciate that they have strong feelings for me. I will do what I can to remain worthy of those feelings." If only to prove she is not like those who abandoned her.


And Charles it would seem knows his share as well, for he doesn't seem surprised at Emma's counter-arguments. "You seem very sure of what I have or have not experienced for our having only just met." he notes mildly, though somehow he still finds a smile as he says it. It's a strange thing too, because he allows himself to touch lightly on memories he himself tends to keep carefully tucked away, old memories of a trapped time steeped in pain and guilt and fear. Fear of those hostile figures the brief remembrance doesn't fully define, but oddly even more of himself.

He steps away from the chair Moira was just occupying even as this happens.. In the end, the needs of her early morning pulled her away just before the tea could finish steeping, but Charles still pours a cup for himself and Emma.

Charles holds out one of the cups, offering the tea to Emma. "And having said that, I think perhaps you give yourself and your ability to mend too little credit. You're a very strong woman, miss Frost." Though in truth the fact she actually seems to care about protecting the trust she's been given, of not becoming like those who she had suffered at the hands of makes Charles think she's already come a lot further than she likes to show with her impeccably controlled facade.


Emma inclines her head once more, acknowledging a touch as she did previously. "True enough, Mister Xavier. I do not know your experiences. But I judge from what I know, what I myself have seen. And in my experience, those who speak such have not known what I have." Emma will not adjudge another's lifetime of experience, but neither will she gainsay her own.

Emma accepts the offered cup of tea with gracious poise, like she has been doing so at high tea all her life (she has). "I strive every day to be stronger than anyone else can possibly imagine." she answers with brutally direct honestly to Xavier's point. "And I have mended. I simply have learned from my experiences, as any intelligent being must." she answers.

"With your permission, Mister Xavier, I intend to continue counseling Miss Grey. Her experience and difficulties are ones I know, perhaps better than even you. And she needs all the help she can get, right now." Emma offers.


"As any intelligent being must, with the experiences they thus far have to work from." Charles agrees, adding that slight caveat. "For myself, I find that for those who have experienced betrayal and helplessness, honest trust is itself the surest means to truly put those demons to rest." he takes a thoughtful sip of his tea, and then seems to realize that this perhaps isn't the time for a full on debate of such things, for he chuckles.

"But! It's late, and I fear I'm starting to wander into lecturing mode, do forgive me." he says with a quirk of amusement. "In any case, I really am very glad to have finally met you. As to Jean, I believe who she chooses to guide her is ultimately Jean's own choice, but no. I don't object. She does need all the help and understanding she can find right now."

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