1963-11-17 - To Be Alone
Summary: Jean is confronted by Charles about sneaking Gabriel in; it ends with Jean preparing to live in Charles' hidden apartment in the city.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
jean xavier 

The light is ebbing from the day, night coming far earlier as autumn marches on towards winter. There's still over an hour until dinnertime even with the fading light, but in a school full of growing children and teens the kitchen is practically speaking a 24 hour operation.

So when Xavier is squaring off his latest round of graded papers in the library and reaches out to locate one particular student, it's not exactly surprising to find Jean there. Weather she notices the inquisitive touch on her mind or not, she'll soon enough hear the footsteps ambling down the hallway.

"Raiding the kitchen to clean instead of snack?" Xavier comments with a smile as he steps through the doorway, hands in his trouser pockets. "If you're not careful you'll go and spoil my ability to continue thinking of you as a student."


For once, someone could actually say that Jean took Erik's advice. She didn't leave the manse proper, and when she did, it was to visit Logan to see what he was up to and talk. Though, with Logan gone, and Gabriel.. where ever he was. All she could do was return to the mansion, mostly to catch up on chores that the others didn't do.

While she didn't assign herself this task; she did it faithfully. She was living under the roof of Charles. Eating his food, using his lights. The medical staff knew her by name by now, and while a certain nurse was still upset with her, the woman did her due dilligence with care when it came to Jean.

All of her thoughts were clouded; it was thanks to the mindless cleaning that she does. The dishes were in a need of a good scrubbing, whatever was cooked within them obviously left it's mark. Trails of food remained though it looked as if someone tried to scrape and get the rest of the bits. But either way, Jean scrubs. Her heart content. The little touch to her mind has her gaze lifting, lowering again as she frowns.

She knew the talk was coming, but his approach actually makes her smile. Yet, the smile itself was pained, her eyes burned with the need to cry but she doesn't. She only just sniffs hard, turning away to focus upon that dish, the dish that was becoming too clean to manage. "Well, I am older than most of them. Which is a shame, right?"


"Well, those of them that are escaping kitchen duty due to your diligence likely wouldn't view it that way." Xavier replies, letting pass the question of the ground she has still to make up with her education. One thing at a time.

He steps over to the counter on the corner from the sink, leaning back against it. And she can probably feel the question coming a moment before it actually does, "I would like to hear from you exactly what it is that happened, the other day."


Jean smiles a little, her head slowly dropping as she sinks her hands into the hot water again, her arm stiff, but the other doing all the work as she keeps that one arm still. It was appreciated, that he cut right to the chase, Jean's head tilted back to stare towards the ceiling, lowering yet again as she lets out a huff of a breath. "Which?"

She wasn't irritated, but she was just.. bothered. But her head shook either way. "I.. brought someone here when I wasn't supposed to. I didn't mentally check to see if he was actually a mutant or not. And.. I think I just put everyone into danger." Her hands draw out, flinging a ball of suds everywhere. "Or.. I just got shot doing something stupid." Such as, mind probing Domino. Because she was an ass.

"I.. I think I'm honestly better off gone. I'm just.." She shakes her head slightly, sniffing, her hand drawing up to wipe away at her cheeks which leave a mess of suds behind. "You're not supposed to see me cry like this, ever."


"I'll erase it from my memory later on." Xavier replies, tone still light even though he can't actually affect his own mind. "But right now, I think perhaps it's better that we talk, even if you hadn't meant it to happen quite this way." he says, resting his palms on the counter behind him.

"And no. You weren't supposed to bring anybody back here. It's a rule I believe you understand better than most, Jean. Which is why I'd very much like to know your reasons."


There was no sense in continuing with the dishes. She sniffs quietly, taking up the dry towel to wipe away at her hands, and soon her face as she continues to sniff. She turns to face the rest of the room, leaning against the counter top just as he, yet keeping her gaze away from him for now.

"I don't know." She answers honestly. "I.. I knew it was against the rules but, I just did it." Her bottom lip trembles as she continually wipes at her eyes. "I.. I see someone scared and confused and I want them safe. So I guess I just brought them here. Because it's safe, and it's home."


"Just what was it that you saw?" Xavier wonders. His mind is still a subtle but tangible presence in the room, though she can tell he's not prying for specifics beyond what she's mentally wearing on her sleeve. There's actually quite a lot about the whole episode he doesn't know yet.


Jean.. well, she didn't know how to best explain it. Each explanation turns out worse than before. But what better way to show him? With that said, she moves from aside of him, taking that one step to stand in front of him, both hands raised as she waits for him to place his hands in hers. It was just an idle thought.. one that draws her gaze off to the side. She.. never really remembers ever hugging him, or anyone within the house save for a very, small few. "I'll show you."


There's a nod from Xavier, and he shifts his palms from the counter. He takes her offered hands, and with them whatever memories she chooses to share.

The contact also makes it easy enough to catch his own troubled state. For all the uneasiness there definitely is over the safety of their home, he's not angry. Concerned, curious, yes. But not angry.


Jean, while holding his hands, brings them upright to wipe away at her face. It may look rather stupid, the two look as though they were about to play a game of ring around the rosey. But, she could feel it, the concerned nature of Charles. And quietly, she offers up a little smile, glad that he wasn't angry.

So she inhales, allowing him to see the images that flash through her mind:

Scarlett and Jean, both in their X-Men uniforms, standing amongst a horde of beetles that plague Hell's kitchen.
..The two women speaking briefly about fighting and taking care of people..
..Rogue goes high and begins to fight..
..Jean spots a chest in the middle of the fight..

..Fire.. fire everywhere.. and not from the beetles, but from Jean!
..Jean running and knocking over the box..
..the box spilling open with Gabriel, naked as the day he was born..
..tattoos upon him everywhere (Shi'ar markings).. but Jean quickly tackles him to shield him from the fight..
..more fire. Fire that cleanses the area.. that kills the bugs..
..Gabriel speaking an unknown language..

She tries her best to recall, every single detail, along with her banging down doors to look for something for Gabriel to wear. And then it happens, the dark red eyes that clouds her vision, the pale white face with the black diamond upon the middle of his forehead. « Kiss Kiss » The face says.. and with a gasp, Jean immediately breaks contact!


Xavier closes his eyes, focusing on the memories Jean sends his way, absorbing the chain of events, the danger, the confusion. He's trying to puzzle out just what sort of language that was Gabriel might have been speaking as it sounds like nothing he can recall… when that burst of an unfamiliar and disturbing face flashes through her mind.

Xavier blinks, that having been entirely unexpected. His brow furrows though as something catches at his mind.. "Jean," he says, "Was that man also contacting you when the Phoenix last appeared?"


Panic. A mild panic broke out as she clasps her hand together, twisting the skin upon her hands as she takes a step back from Charles. Her bottom lip was soon worried, and soon she begins to pace, her eyes squeezing shut and open as she gives a quick shake of her head as if she were to expel the thought. "Yes.." She quietly murmurs. "The Phoenix was.. she was helping me. I let her take control for a time.. and.. I was almost shot. But he saved me."

Her bottom lip begins to tremble, a deep inhale taken as she stops into place, wiping away at her eyes. "But.. I know. I felt it. It wasn't because he was being a hero. He wasn't good. He wasn't.. he was the reason.. those people were dying and he did that. He did that to them!" She was near screaming, but she quickly lowered her voice, taking a close step towards Charles. "He.. he had these.. these things and they were biting.. and these people had spores and.. this man had his head.. it.. he did that. He did all of that. I can't get him out of my head!"


Having been rather in the middle of averting a giant insect invasion in Grover's Mill when he'd sensed the Phoenix back in New York, Charles had been a bit distracted at the time. But seeing that snippet from her memory, he'd been vaguely aware of that other presence even as he'd been trying to calm Jean and Domino.

Actually seeing it properly now, he can hardly blame Jean for being distraught, and he sets his hands reassuringly on her shoulders. "Jean," he says, letting the word echo calmly but firmly in her mind, trying to catch her attention. "It's alright. What you went through, what was done to those people was monstrous, and frightening. But whoever that unsettling man was and whatever his designs, he's not here right now." he pulls her into a hug, something he has a feeling the troubled young woman is long overdue for. "..Alright?"


It wasn't hard to catch her attention, she was all over the place and clearly needed the focus. When he spoke her name, she took in a breath of a gasp, her eyes, watering with tears that finally fell at a rapid pace. "I know he's not here but.. why can't I stop thinking about it?" As he pulls her into a hug, she finally lets go, sobbing quietly into his arm, bunched up as she was against him.

"I don't want to remember it, I don't. Just make me forget it so I can be normal again!"


The pleading for just a flash causes an almost viscerally repelled reaction in Charles, and Jean may very well catch a snatch of washed out sunlight, white lace and blue patterned china and the ghost of an unfamiliar voice crying 'I don't want this!' in an accent rather similar to Charles' own.

It's all gone in a moment, tucked away, and the concern for Jean is an uninterrupted constant throughout. Charles himself shows no sign of acknowledging it, patting her back and offering her a steady presence to lean on. "I know." he answers gently. "But taking the memory away won't stop it from having happened. Especially until we get to the bottom of whatever all of that was, I'd prefer not to do that. But we'll sort it out, whatever it was." at the very least, there were enough witnesses of the man's atrocities that if they can find him, having him arrested should be no difficulty at all.


Jean caught that glimpse. She was smart enough to know just who it was, and she was smart enough to not dwell. It was a secret, after all. A quiet little secret that she inwardly promises that she wouldn't share.

"I.. it's not fair.." She quietly murmurs, finally allowing herself to finish sobbing. She wipes away at her face, still a slight tremble held as she gives a slight nod. "I can't do it, I can't help while I'm like this. I.. I need more. I want to learn more, I.. I want to let her out of the cabin and burn everything away.." Jean leans against him again, this time her head upon his chest, the deep little sniffles heard as she tries to clean up her reddened face. "This is stupid.. we're here to talk about Gabriel. Not me. Will you help him too?"


"The world generally speaking isn't fair, that's something that has to come from people." Charles answers softly, letting her cry it out. "And She wants to look after you too, you know. You're something rare and precious to her.. the depth of your ability to care. And she's not wrong in that respect, though," he adds with a bit of a rueful smile, "I think we all wouldn't mind if you exercised a bit more caution with it. But even if patching over your memories would only mask something that needs to mend, I hope you'll remember you don't have to do it alone." she has people now that care about her too now, and Charles knows without reservation that he is only one of many.

But back to the subject of the situations Jean's soft heart and hasty reactions sometimes lead her to.. "If I can, yes. Though next time you find someone in dire straights, perhaps you could bring them by an apartment I have in the city instead?" he shares the location with her, as well as where a key to it is hidden.


"She wants to take me away from everything I love, Professor. And.. I screw things up so much that I'm starting to think she's right in her thoughts." Jean sighs quietly, nodding just a little as she takes a slight step back. "I'm trying.. I mean I do. But.. with Gabriel, I didn't feel any anger. Any malice. Just fear and confusion. Even now, he.." She tries not to get choked up, but she does nod. "I know.. but I don't want to bother people too much. I feel like, people are just waiting for me to snap. Or to crack. Something.."

As she finally steps away from him, she moves towards the chair to take a seat. Crying is stressful, it takes a lot out of a person. "I.. I promise." She says quietly to the offer. "If, if it's okay. Can I stay there a while? I just want some peace and quiet for once. I promise I won't mess anything up."


A handkerchief is offered to Jean, produced from some pocket or other as she steps back. Charles replies without missing a beat however, "The only way we improve as people is through making mistakes and learning from them, Jean. And that's something I think Phoenix needs to learn from you, not the other way 'round."

Charles steps back over to lean against the counter, listening as she talks about what happened with Gabriel, and about the apartment. In truth he thinks if she wants some space then it may be for the best, but he doesn't want it to end up trapping her in isolation. "If you'd like, then you're welcome to stay there for now." he replies, though another smile tugs at one corner of his mouth. "Though I hope you wouldn't object to the occasional visitor while you're there? Assuming, of course, they are quiet and peaceful ones."


Jean reaches out to take the handkerchief, quietly dabbing away at her eyes, nnodding her head in a silent thanks as she frowns a little. "She's stubborn.." She quietly admits. "Though most times, she makes sense.."

Though there was a slight smile given, she was still a little sad. And she looked a right mess, as well. "Thank you. And no.. I won't mind it. I'll welcome it. Especially the peaceful visitors." She smiles finally, her shoulders slumped. She feels beaten. Weary. Tired. "I'm going to go check on Gabriel.. just let me know when you're ready to see him? I want to take him to the library to read some books with me."


Charles nods. Jean did get a late start on getting to grow up, and Moira's right.. some parts of that process a person needs to be allowed to do on their own. He hopes she'll find the perspective she's looking for.

And in the meantime, he's going to have to see what he can learn about that unsettling man with the sheet-pale face and the diamond in his head.

"I can stop by once the two of you have done your reading. I'd rather meet our new arrival sooner rather than later; just let me know." Charles replies."

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