1963-11-24 - I Need Therapy
Summary: Its the one of many therapy sessions in between Emma and Jean.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihrH45QFelw
jean emma 


Part of Emma's agreement with Jean Grey is that the young woman has regular appointments to meet with Emma for counseling. They have much in common, things that few if any others in the world can share. Emma's hope is that such counseling will help keep Jean on an even keel, to allow her to grow into her powers without becoming a liability to herself or others. The fact that this has the side benefit of making it much more likely Jean will be of use to Emma in the future is simply a blessed coincidence. Honestly.

As usual, Emma is already inside the small conference room in the facilities beneath the Frost Institute, settled in her seat in her incredibly expensive, ludicrously fashionable white attire. She seems to be passing the time waiting for Jean by reviewing some paperwork. There's a carafe of water and two glasses also waiting. No coffee; Emma can't tolerate the potential stains, and sometimes these counseling sessions get messy.

*

It possibly took Jean a little bit too long to actually return to the college. She had already moved part of her stuff out, but the rest was kept there so that when she does actually remain and sleep there? She'd be all settled. Toiletries remain, thank goodness, and a quick shower is had to wash away the smog from the bus that she managed to get herself caught in with a heavy cough. But the soot was washed away in favor of a floral scent, clothes, a typical jeans and t-shirt was thrown upon, as well as a pair of flat shoes that obviously do not match the attire.

With still wet hair, she rushes down towards the meeting room in the training center, the office immediately breached with a *WHOOSH* of air and a quick flop down upon the couch. It takes a moment for her to settle, and when she does?

"Hi."

*

When Jean stumbles in fast and late, Emma simply glances up and puts down her folder, closing it to give the redhead her full attention. "Ah. Miss Grey. I am glad you could join me today. Please, come in, sit down. Catch your breath. Perhaps you would like a drink? Then, perhaps we can takl a bit about how you have been feeling, and what is going on inside you." That is why they're here, after all.

*

Jean takes in a deep breath, then blows out a little bit of air, finally sitting up more in her seat to attempt to gain a proper stature. Both thighs pressed together at a slight slant, shoulders up and peeled back as she leans forward to carefully pour water from the pitcher. The mention of talk has her nose wrinkling. There was so much she wanted to say but she didn't know where to start. And she didn't hide it. There were so many roads and avenues that her mind was taking at that moment that it didn't take a psychic to see that she was truly thinking.

"I.. really don't know." She states plainly, slowly placing the pitcher down. "I.. can't really say it's just one thing or the other." The glass was taken up, and held within her lap.. allowing herself the moment to catch her breath. "I.. think I'm just upset at myself. I.. really don't like me."

*

For just a moment, Emma frowns. It's there for perhaps a second and then gone again; she cannot afford the wrinkles, after all. But then she reaches out her hands towards Jean, trying to take the younger woman's hands in her own. "It does not need to be one thing, or the other. You can say anything, everything that is going on inside you here. That is the point of all of this."

And Emma gives those hands a gentle but firm squeeze, given the chance. "I must admit, it is not nearly as uncommon as it should be, that a young woman feels that way, not liking herself. Being upset with herself. But I promised to be here, to help you. And I will. But to help you, I need you to continue to share with me."

Emma is terrible at this namby-pamby Mommy sorts of crap; she has no experience with it. Moira would be so much better. But Moira isn't here, isn't a telepath, and doesn't have Emma's experiences to mirror Jean's. So Emma has to try. No matter how awful and ill-fitting it all is, she has to try.

*

As Emma reaches out, Jean was wise enough to offer her the dryer hand, one that was not riddled with condensation from her cup. She holds onto it briefly, highly aware of the awkwardness that -does not- show within Emma, drawing her own hand away even though Jean prefers the idle touch of a hand. Or a hug. She loves hugs. That was one thing that was certain about her. "I know.." She says quietly, her head bobbing slightly. The hand that was still dry moves through her wet hair, bunching it up to scratch at her scalp, then down towards the glass of water.

"I spoke briefly with Charles about this." She admits. "The.. inherit sadness that I feel. And I say this to myself most of the time, that I'm not really sure if it's -my- sadness that I'm feeling or if it's anyone elses. Like.." Her green eyes lift to the ceiling. "..if someone is happy and it's strong, I'll feel their happiness and I'm happy. I'm like a book that someone else is writing when it comes to my emotions, so I.. told him that I wanted to leave." She frowns. "Just be somewhere by myself so that I could know myself. Know how -I- feel and no one else. He offered me his apartment in the city, and I really like it there. At least when things get too much."

*

When she feels the echo of that want, that need to be held, to be hugged within Jean, Emma cannot help the flash of jealousy and the thought of Moira MacTaggert that flows through her mind. That Scotswoman is a natural hugger and a warm, loving mother figure. Not like Emma, the cold-hearted bitch. THe White Queen. But she embraces who she is, and she will do all she can to help her student, to make Jean strong and independent … just like Emma.

"I cannot imagine that a mere apartment in this city so packed full of people would really offer you the isolation and assurance you seek." Emma mentions. "I remember what it is like, the thoughts and feelings of others pouring through you, soaking in like water in sand, never knowing where your own thoughts are, what they are. Thinking yourself mad because you're in a cesspool surrounded by madness."

Emma pauses, letting the tension pass through her and be gone. Control. She demands it of herself, and seeks to build it in others. "I can teach you how to build up the walls in your mind, to shut out others' thoughts and feelings, so that you know what is inside you is genuinely yours." So could Charles, of course, but Jean is here, not there. "And until you can manage that, there is a place I should show you. One of the rooms down here in the training facility is built with technological shielding, to shut out others' thoughts and feelings." Trust a telepath to know the value of that square footage of real estate.

*

That, actually makes Jean laugh. She was not mocking Emma, no. But Emma had a point that Jean herself didn't realize. "I think it extends to people too." She says. "Like, I don't want to look at anyone sometimes. Or how sometimes people would hover and ask if I'm alright and I'm not ready to talk." Jean eases up a little, apprehensive of speaking, but the words were flowing then, like she was with a friend. But as Emma comiserates, Jean nearly perks up, not pointing directly at her, but her hand flaps in the air as finally someone understands! "That's exactly what it feels like."

She takes a moment, then finally speaks as if she were telling a secret. "When I was in the mental institution, it was all I felt. Years, and years of fear and despair. Sometimes there were happy moments, when people came to visit family. But it was fleeting. Like for a half a second, I felt excitement, and then it was taken away from me." How annoying.

But there was a little bit of interest there. Jean has shut herself out from the world, but her shut-out was complete. No thoughts. No feelings. Just moving. "I.. think I take instruction well?" She murmurs quietly. She was a being of pure instinct for now, but she was agreeable. "Are we going to go now?"

*

Emma nods. "I think you would appreciate that. Wouldn't you?" Emma offers, as she stands from her seat, offering a hand to Jean. Once they are both up, she opens the door and leads the way down the hall. When she comes to one of the intersections, she leads the way down a branch Jean has had no reason to explore yet. And down that hall there is a door labeled 'isolation room'.

This door Emma opens; it is very solid, a heavy metal door hung with good balance so that it swings with minimal effort. Inside is a small cell, perhaps ten feet on a side, with a sink and curtained toilet on one side, a small cot on the other, and open cement floor with a rug on it in the middle. It's not wonderful or gleefully decorated by any stretch.

But when Emma closes the door … it is as if the weight of the world is lifted from mental shoulders. There are no other thoughts. No other feelings. With Emma shielding herself fully, there is only Jean, alone in the room. It is likely a feeling Jean has not known while conscious in many years.

"And now I imagine you can guess why I would build a room like this. Why I would research to find a way to build something like this."

*

"I would.." Jean murmurs, quickly taking a sip of her water before placing it upon the table. As the hand was offered, Jean does take it, and for once? She doesn't let go. It wasn't to force Emma to take and deal with the fact that Jean herself was an affectionate creature, but it was something that she needed at the moment, and Emma clearly offered with her words even though her physical self did not present it.

You don't get wrinkles by holding hands.

But as she leads her, Jean remains quiet. There were no thoughts from her that were significant save for the layout of the lower levels. The hallways that she's missed, the heavy, metal door to the Isolation room, the memory of the path that they had just taken and.. once they were in?

Silence.

While there were students training nearby, Jean often felt little spikes of excitement. Tiny little drones of defeat. Desperation. And anger. But here? Nothing.

It was quiet, so quiet that she herself didn't know how to feel when presented with such a gem! Why in the hell was she in that apartment? Possibly for the television, but this was miles better, something she wouldn't say aloud.

"B.. because it's too loud.." Jean finally murmurs quietly, so quiet, that she was barely heard.

*

Emma reaches out and lightly strokes the fingers of her other hand along Jean's temple and nods. "Yes. Sometimes it is too loud. Or at least, it used to be. And I imagined that if I was going to seek out young mutants and try to help train them, I might meet one like I was, when younger. One who would truly appreciate … this silence."

Emma doesn't pull her hand away. She stands, quietly, and watches. She listens. But she keeps her own thoughts and feelings bottled up, giving Jean the complete silence she has so craved. The freedom of her own thoughts and feelings untainted by any other.

"The cot is not as uncomfortable as it may look, I assure you. Why don't you lie down and relax. Close your eyes. Let your mind finally unclench, unspool, and let the thoughts and feelings out. Maybe then I can help you find your way in all the tangle."

*

"So you've actually used this room for yourself? Like.. to prepare?" It was the only time that Jean didn't know what to think. She felt what everyone felt. She nearly knew what everyone else knew on the surface. There were some minds that were shielded and it was a treasure. But did she know of one that could shield their hearts?

Jean finally releases Emma's hand, turning towards the bed to take a seat. She doesn't lay on it at first, settling for sitting in the way a man would when he contemplated. Legs spread slightly, elbows rested upon knees, fingers steepling against the other…

She doesn't close her eyes either, she stared at the floor as she tries to work out her internal monologue, but what comes out was .. well.. a slew of word vomit that only Emma could understand.

"All I fucking know is despair." Pardon the language! "For almost ten years that's all I know! I didn't feel any hope! There -is- no hope! And with the Phoenix.. she promises it! I want to believe her. I really do. But hope is just a lie that was created so that children could sleep at night."

While she would throw something if she had it in her hand, she just settles for flopping back upon the bed. "But then, you get people like Gabriel. He comes here in a stupid box. Someone just.. discarded him like toilet paper. And even though he's an adult who doesn't even know how to tie his shoe probably? There's -so- much wonder in his world as he learns and I'm just instilled with it. It's.. maddening!"

*

"Not this one, but one like it." Emma answers honestly. She releases Jean's hand when the younger woman retreats, taking a seat in the chair which she turns to face the bed, watching and waiting while Jean works her way through her thoughts and feelings. She doesn't interrupt. Part of the whole point, here, is for Jean to let the word vomit out. It's the only way through.

"I confess, I only knew the inside of the asylum for several months. I suppose in that way, I was lucky. I found what I needed, and made my own way to escape." No one let Emma out. She clawed her way out on her own. Just ask her who put her in there, and why. G'head. Dare ya!

"And who is this Gabriel, whose wonder is so infectious that he drives you mad?" Emma inquires, seeking context for what she's hearing. "Time in here should give you a chance to know only your own thoughts and feelings. A chance to process things. Get them out. Examine them. Then find your way through them. I imagine you'll be a much stronger and more controlled telepath afterwards."

*

Jean nods. This was a secret that would be shared between the two. The only thing that Jean would ask about, that would be erased within moments of her asking. Or somewhere tight, tight within the mental palace within her mind that none other shall have access to. No other respectable individual; Jean would fight to the mental death if need be. "I don't think I was allowed to find what I need." Jean confesses, finally kicking her shoes off to allow them to fall to the ground. "I spent most of the time medicated, and when I wasn't, shocked. And when that didn't happen, both." She laughs a little, then turns towards her. "What did you find?"

With that said, the mention of Gabriel actually makes her smile. "I don't know who Gabriel is. He doesn't know who he is either. Maybe that's the beauty of it all.." She turns away then, staring into the ceiling. "I found him in Hell's Kitchen. I was with my friend, Rogue." She smiles faintly. "You should meet her, by the way. She's very cultured and smart. I don't understand her half of the time.."

She continues on, not missing a beat. She was taking Emma's instruction seriously. "..but I wanted to do -something-. Which is why I revealed myself to the world. -Thank- God you fixed that Emma, I am so not ready for that." She shakes her head, word vomit indeed. "We were fighting the bugs. And.. there was a box. So we fought towards the box and I tripped over it, and he.. just fell out." Is there a way for her to use her gif-.. let's just ask!

"Can I show you the image? He has strange tattoos all over him. I kind of think he's an alien. Professor Xavier tried to scan his mind but he's.. someones put blocks on him.." Blab, blab, blab. "But, he actually.. listens to me. You know? Like you do. You both treat me like a person who's important. Well, Charles too but.. that's it. Just you three. Okay, Logan too, but more like a serrogate daughter than anything else.."

Eesh.. Jean.. you talk too much!

*

No such things as talking too much, when the whole point of this exercise is to get one talking. Emma certainly doesn't seem to mind, at least, never once showing any sign of being tired of Jean's babbling or anything like that.

"I found the stillness inside, the ability to shield my thoughts. And then the way to only read the thoughts I wanted, even memories, and then influence minds to do what I needed them to do." And eventually, though Emma doesn't bring it up right now, the ability to lash out. to strike another mind with her will and drive them to unconsciousness or even possibly stroke and death. She wasn't nearly as subtle back then as she is now.

"If you want to show me, show me." Emma offers, reaching out her hand to take Jean's, easing back the edge of her shields to give the younger woman's gift a space of her mind in which to find purchase, to share thoughts and memories as she wills. Including those about Gabriel.

"I am glad that you have others in your life that listen, Jean." Emma offers, and she's being genuine. So long as Emma remains one of those, she will gladly share. Being excluded would upset her, for more reasons than she is prepared to self-examine just now. "Have you introduced Gabriel to Charles, then? Has Charles been able to help him with the mental blocks?" Emma knows Charles is at least in the same order of magnitude as her own power; she does not know yet if he is stronger, in absolute terms, or more skilled. Only time will tell.

"You know, if you want me to meet someone, we can arrange that, dear. I simply do not wish to expose the program here to anyone outside the program." Emma can set up meetings elsewhere, after all. Almost anywhere in the world, for pity's sake.

*

"Mm." Jean murmurs quietly. "Well, I can do most of that.." Stillness? In a sense. It was achieved by her sight alone. If she does not see a person, they were out of her mind. And from there she can effectively block. It was a strange concept, but eventually, she was sure that she'd be able to do so without thinking. Without the need to see..

As she reaches out to grasp Emma's hand, Emma could feel that assuredness within Jean. That emotion that she was 'sure' to learn whatever she could through Charles and Emma, boistered her decision to attend this school, attend therapy, and keep with the tea-time and dish washing at the mansion. Anything to keep moving, from sleeping..

But it was a slow trickle of the scene..

Jean and Scarlett speaking about Logan dating..

..meeting the barrier of where the bugs were roped off..
..a bug begins to spew sulfur to catch things on fire..
..there was the box, latched shut.. but not locked..
..there was Scarlett high in the air, righting..
..there was Jean, fighting! And doing well! Was that a move that Jenny taught her? Awesome!
..Not so awesome, Jean tripped over the box and the top spilled open..
..a man in his birthday suit, jumping straight up..
..Jean tackling him from the fire..
..The strange words from his lips..
..tattoos everywhere!

Slowly, she pulls her hand away, to give herself a breath.. "I'm glad too. And Yes. Charles surmised that someone else did this to him, that he did not lose his memory." Her hand rests flat upon her stomach, the prospect of her meeting her friends actually makes her smile. Could she call Emma a friend? Yes.. and a teacher, but that was first and foremost.

"Well, I want you to meet everyone I know. But Gabriel? Maybe a park. He's never seen a park, and I think he'll think it's pretty. And you're pretty. So two pretty things would make him happy."

*

"Well, if you would like me to meet his Gabriel, we can make arrangements for that too, Jean." Emma offers, gently enough. No criticism, she just listens, takes it in, and promises to meet him if that is what Jean wants. Beyond that, she has no idea. But if asked to take a look at the barriers, she will try that too, though she will promise nothing until she has. "I trust you've found clothing for this Gabriel, at least?"

*

"Yes. I really would." Jean offers up. "I want you to meet Gabriel.. I want you to meet Scarle— uh.. Rogue. I wouldn't mind you having a friendly lunch with Logan. Oh! And there is this man I met, Sousa. He's a dad, a small kid and one on the way. And Hrimhari. Though, you've met him already.. under horrible circumstances.." The kid. And the mention of clothing Gabriel?

Oh.. gosh. She -did- see him naked? Recalling that fact has her blushing immediately, her hands lifting to smack against her lips. "Mmhmm.." She states. "I stole clothes from Alex. You should meet him too."

*

Jean has left.

*

Jean arrives from Frost Institute.

*

Jean has arrived.

*

"So many friends. So many people in your life. You should feel quite blessed, Jean." Emma offers. She doesn't say anything more about it, but someone wiser, more experienced, could realize that therein lies something Emma does envy about the girl: Emma is alone. There is no list of people she wants Jean to meet. No others she feels compelled to interweave into the lives she meets at the school or elsewhere in her life.

"We can arrange meetings as time allows, Jean. For now, hopefully time here will help you to focus, clear your head, so you can get in tune with your own feelings unpolluted by others. Allowing us to make better progress." And Jean will have access to this even later, on her own at later times. A little gift from Emma. "And I will teach you how to do all of those things, and more, as you are ready to learn them."

*

Jean slowly nods slightly. "So many.. but none to relate to.." She confesses quietly. Does she feel blessed? No. Does she see that it was a blessing? Yes. That was the way that her depression worked. She saw the truth of all realities in this room, and it was hitting her hard enough that the despair she felt? It was her baseline. Mayhap, Emma could feel that from her too. Jean certainly felt something for Emma.

"I plan to make time at least. Now that I can think clearly. I know its important to take care of myself before I do others.. but sometimes, it's easy to ignore me, and focus elsewhere." Her lips purse tightly, her toes curling and uncurling.

*

"I have known others who have done so." Emma offers, honestly. "But I have always started with myself, making myself strong." She cannot say it is the only way. Only that it is her way. "Ignoring your own problems to focus instead on others, however, strikes me as unhealthy." Emma will do what she can to help the younger woman face those things. She knows better than most how hard it can be. "I know that spending so much time in such an unstable mental environment has had its effects. And I know that you will not recover from all of that instantly. But hopefully with time and effort, we can build a solid foundation inside you, and make you the strongest, best you that you can be." In Emma's army? Yo Joe!

*

Jean listens, slowly sitting upright as she gives her arms a brief stretch and a pop. "I know.." She says quietly. "I love everyone. And I want everyone to be okay in the end. I want us all to get along. But how can I try to take care of Gabriel if I can't take care of myself?" She asks Emma, truly. "It is unhealthy, yes.." Her hand rubs slightly at the back of her neck, convinced that this was the way to do it.

To go out there. To be apart of something. To come here, to learn more! To visit with Emma, to talk and speak. To let all of her feelings out upon the floor. Control. Jean was forever going to be a feeling thing. Perhaps that's what makes fire and ice a lovely contrast.

"Testing is next month, right?" She asks. "And then the winter break. And then college."

*

"That is correct. Testing is mid-December. Then winter break, and then classes will begin." And training will continue throughout. Emma offers a glimmer of a smile and a reassuring nod - or what she imagines to be a reassuring nod, whether it is or not. "When you speak with your friends, we can make further arrangements to meet. For now, why don't you just relax. Listen to the stillness, the emptiness. Find the echo of yourself, here, and just be free. We can worry about delving deeper during another session."

*

Hey. It was reassuring enough to her. Jean returns the slight smile with one of her own, then turns her head away to stare into the ceiling again. Jean knows what's going to happen when she stays here. It was quiet. It was peaceful. She was going to sleep. A good sleep, one that she hasn't had in a very, very long time.

"Alright.." She says quietly, finally turning upon her side to face away from Emma, so that they do not have to wave goodbye to each other. Even Jean doesn't like goodbyes.

They seemed so.. final.

*

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