1963-12-05 - The New X-Men
Summary: Recent events drive a decision to be made. The time has come to train the new generation of X-Men.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
crystal magneto xavier 

A long night's sleep doesn't necessarily mean waking early. Erik had turned in early, after returning from he and Crystal's, shall we say, series of unexpected trips. The sun has barely risen when he finds himself downstairs, in the kitchen, cooking up some breakfast.

In his dressing robe and slippers.

It's simply been that kind of week.

The smells soon begin to fill the area. He'd considered cooking a traditional American breakfast, but after scouring the expansive pantry, he's selected something that reminds him of his youth.

One by one, the pierogi are drained, then set to bake in a thin layer of butter. After this, he sets the water to begin preparing coffee using an old fashioned French press.


Once upon a time Charles wouldn't have woken before dawn on a bet, but it's amazing the sort of habits one can get into when one finds their way into being responsible for a building full of children.

Today he's up early so he can do some measuring and shifting of furniture in some of the rooms that will soon be thronging with the school's normal activity, though he's not even down the stairs before he notices someone's already at work in the kitchen. <Erik?> he wonders, rubbing sleep out of one eye with the heel of his hand. "With how busy you've been, I half expected you to sleep through the day." he notes with a wan smile from the kitchen door. "But as that's apparently not the case, just how much of that might you be making?"


Sleep has not been kind to Crystal. The last few days - the last week - have been enough to shred her nerves. The usually composed young woman has grown-short tempered, though at least she seems able to limit herself to walking away rather than shouting at anyone. Generally.

She was out early this morning, taking herself for a run to try to burn off the excess energy, and only now returns to the kitchen in sweatpants and a t-shirt, her hair pulled back in a ponytail and cheeks flushed. Which means she probably ran a marathon's worth of laps around the grounds in the last hour.


Shredded nerves are a thing Erik has become familiar with. He's handled himself well, perhaps surprisingly so, to those who really know him, but it's driven him to a place that could best be described as autopilot. With an oven mit drawn up to his arm, he's poking around inside of the oven when Charles arrives. "Oh, I've made plenty, my old friend," he answers without looking, eyes squinting as they remain focused on the work at hand. "Pierogi have a habit of waking those who smell them." He finally withdraws, oven mit outstretched, and a sizable pan filled with the delicious goodies comes floating out, carried by a focused magnetic field.

Noticing Crystal, Erik smirks a bit while reaching for the French press. The pan settles itself upon a pair of trivets, and he begins pouring cups for everyone. "By my count, you've circled the estate twenty times, my dear." A pause. "Then again, I was preoccupied."

Removing the oven mit, he gestures toward the preparation. "Mushroom, sausage, and quark, with a thin run of plum jam."


"Funny how that works." Charles agrees of the aromatic dumplings, collecting plates from a cupboard for them all and claiming a couple of the pierogis. "And thank you— Crystal, good morning!" Charles greets with a morning version of his usual cheer when she turns up as well. "We seem to share a gift for perfect timing today… and welcome home to both of you, by the way." Charles adds a bit more gently. He only knows snatches of what has kept them busy while they were out, but he knows enough to guess a quiet meal in familiar walls might be needed about now.


"Well, by lap fifteen I was at least tired enough to only be thinking about the running," Crystal smiles wearily back at Erik, stepping to his side to take a deep breath of the food with a hand to the small of his back. "It was that or find someone with enhanced strength and durability for a bit of sparring, and I'm still not certain that would have ended well."

She rests her cheek against his arm for a moment before she steps back, turning a small smile on Charles. "Good morning, Charles. And thank you," she laughs weakly. "If you and Moira ever need a night away from it all, I know a lovely beach in Tahiti that's just a teleport away."


Enhanced strength and durability? Erik lifts an eyebrow, casts a look Crystal's way, then looks over toward Charles. "This is why we don't spar." Regardless, he rests a hand on her forearm before she turns, smirking Crystal's way. "It's a wonderful place," he agrees, before lifting his coffee for a testing sip. There comes a slight grimace, too hot, still.

"I am glad you're here," he tells Charles, then looks toward Crystal. "Both of you." Back to Charles. "There are some things I wish to discuss."


"Oh do you, now?" Charles replies to Crystal with amusement. "We'll certainly have to keep that in mind." he's curious about just how that factored into their little adventure.. but then Erik speaks, and it may be better to let them explain what they wish at their own pace. "Then by all means." Charles agrees, cracking open a pierogi and letting some steam vent— rather like the coffee it may take a bit before they can enjoy breakfast as more than just a smell.


Crystal's smile flickers at Erik's observation, and she moves to load a plate for herself as well, leaning against the kitchen counter as she waits for the food to cool. That, and as much as she ran, she's still restless. Best to let the energy burn off a bit before she settles down. Almost relieved to hear about someone else's problems, she simply looks to Erik, brows rising slightly.


"I took Scott and Jean to Sacramento," Erik begins, without hesitating. "As soon as we read the news." He looks at his cooling coffee for a long moment, then turns toward Charles. "There was one survivor. A young mutant girl named Lily Chambers, who wouldn't have been a survivor, had we not dug her out of the ground."

He does have a way with words.

"They insisted that I bring the girl home. I insisted that we do what was lawful. She's been turned over to the state… I would hope that we could petition to adopt her into our own fold, but the greater concern here is what happened to Sacramento's mutant population."

He takes another testing drink from his coffee, then sets the mug down, perhaps with a bit more force than he'd have liked.

"They were all but wiped out."


And that was one of the bits Charles already had a pretty good idea of, though the girl is news. With an effort, Charles keeps the ill twist in his stomach from projecting to the others.

The news about the girl however, that bit is new. "Thank goodness you were able to find her, at least." Charles says quietly. If Jean was there, he doesn't need to ask if there was anyone else they might have missed. One life saved means their trip was well worth while, at least. "You spoke with the law enforcement there then, I take it?"


Crystal's features are dark at the mention of Sacramento, head tipped downward. It's why Attilan has always been kept a secret. And yet, in the wake of everything that's happened lately, also why she's been thinking it may be time to end those millennia of secrecy.


"I did," Erik admits, his voice much quieter than the near outburst had suggested it might become. There is a long silence, during which he stares at his coffee, before turning to look at Charles. "Some of them wanted to help. Others decided it was best to… draw their firearms." Erik's chest rises and falls at that. "Nobody was hurt."

And… he'll leave it at that.

"I don't know how long we can protect this place, Charles," he finally admits, turning with coffee in hand to take a drink. "I propose we begin training the older students, with regularity. A set schedule. They must be prepared." A look to Crystal. "Especially now that some of them are taking it upon themselves to don old X-Men uniforms and go hunting around for strange artifacts in places like Hell's Kitchen."


"Thank you." Charles says in the same quiet and simple tones. He knows how difficult it is for Erik especially to give leeway when it comes to men with guns and a position of power. Still, this time there was what looked like actual progress with the government treating them as citizens, people. Even with the tragedies of the last few weeks, it's a hope that's not entirely broken.

But there's a difference between hoping for brighter days, and being blind to the possibility of bad ones. Charles lets out a quiet breath, both hands around his coffee cup.

"You're not the first to say such a thing to me this month." Charles notes with a humorless smile curling up one side of his mouth. "..And you're right. For themselves, and for all of us. Now especially, when we may need to act anyways, we need to be seen. Seen in control of our powers, seen protecting people, seen as a force for good. I think we're not the only ones who could use something to believe in right now. Especially now."

Though the comment about artifacts in Hell's Kitchen gets a questioning raise of one eyebrow.


Crystal snorts softly at the last comment. "That is because no one has taken Jean Grey in hand," she mutters, and even Charles gets a hint of the blame for that one. "The girl's either ranting and screaming, or curled up in a ball crying. Which would be one thing if she were thirteen years old, but she isn't. It would be one thing if she could fling dumpsters with her mind, but she can. Honestly, Charles, if she can't learn to control herself, how exactly does anyone expect her to learn to control her powers?" Oh, there's the rest of the rant that's been going through her mind all night.


Far be it for Erik to defend Jean Grey, but he was there when she struggled to obey his lead in Sacramento. Charles wasn't, neither was Crystal. He stands up a bit straighter at Crystal's remark, and raises a hand toward both. "Hold on."

He draws a deep breath, hoping that his strong voice is enough to keep the discussion from escalating into an argument. "Crystal, some mutants have a much harder time learning to harness their powers. Young Mister Summers cannot even control his; he's forced to wear goggles, or classes, simply to keep from blasting a hole in everything he looks at. It isn't exactly like terrigenesis."

He looks then from Crystal to Charles. "But she's right. Some of them need more practice. Some of them just need to be given a chance. We're all at fault here… I wasn't even aware of Summers' lack of control, which almost cost us a terrible accident on the way to California." Erik isn't going to talk about his magnetic powers accidentally ripping Scott's visor off while the Blackbird was in flight. It was handled. "Loki of Asgard. The aliens." He turns back to Crystal. "The mounting tension in Attilan." Back to Charles. "The Soviets." He shakes his head. "We must train this new generation of X-Men."


The tension from Crystal suddenly bursting forth isn't exactly a surprise to Charles, but Erik isn't guessing wrong when he cuts him off mid-way to replying in her defense.

Charles nods to Erik's statements on the matter, adding, "Jean's…other resident has made matters especially difficult for her over the years. She's literally carrying a voice in her head with no sense of restraint or moderation. All considered, I think it's a testament to Jean's strength she's retained as much of herself as she has. In fact from the last time I evaluated them both, if anything I think it's -Jean- that's making an impression on the Phoenix more than the other way around. That's frankly incredible."

Though he has to allow, "That said, you're right as well, Crystal. Especially if we're considering.." Charles lets out a breath, and meets Erik's eye now directly. "No, if we -are- reinstating the X-men again, she and any others who will be going on these missions will need to have more control than that. And that is on us to teach them."

He takes one more deep breath..and smiles again. "Not that this is anything new mind you.. but it would seem we have our work cut out for us."


"We don't generally walk out of the chamber knowing how to use our powers, either, Erik," Crystal says archly, crossing her arms over her chest as she bristles. "But we certainly don't allow children who can't control themselves out in public until they learn. Our own king spent his first eighteen years of his life in a sound-proof chamber until he was certain he could prevent himself from making even the smallest sound, even in his sleep, because his voice is an instrument of such power. I frankly don't care what's taken up residence in Jean's head, but all of your excuses are not helping her to realize that the only person who can control it is her. You all need to stop coddling her and making excuses for her, or she'll never learn. Scott, on the other hand, seems perfectly capable of behaving himself, so I don't think control of powers is the issue."


Erik makes a concessive gesture toward Crystal, after paying her words much heed. "Maybe something needs to be done about the Phoenix," Erik suggests. It's an off-hand remark, more flip than anything, and he isn't exactly considering the moral implications of his words, either. He sets the coffee mug down again, this time without the bang, and folds his own arms. "Despite what disagreements we may have, they are, ultimately, semantics. We have protected these students, given them a safe place to live, to grow and learn. That is a good thing. But it's simply not enough anymore." He looks from one to the other. "I don't think anyone is in disagreement on that."

Turning away, Erik reaches for one of his pierogis. He takes it in hand, without utensil, and turns back to the others. "I will commence with a training regimen at once," he offers, before popping that delicious morsel into his mouth.


"When you have it written up, I'd very much like to look it over." Charles comments, though his attention is still largely on Crystal. It would seem that her particular concerns are running more to the specific than the general right now.

"And with the matter of the X-men aside, yes. Let's talk about Jean, then. What would you have me do, Crystal? If you are asking that she not be taken into conflicts moving forward, then for the moment I heartily agree. If you are asking that we take steps to impress upon her the very real consequences of letting her impulses run uncontrolled… I've been taking steps to do that as well." he offers her a memory, more a mental knock on the door if she wants it. In truth he's curious how recent the events worrying Crysyal are as well. "We'll be able to help her more easily if we're all on the same page." he suggests.


"Do you know what she said last night, Charles? When she was railing against the fact that we would dare question her choice to go out into the city in costume because there might be consequences?" Crystal is still in a tizzy - no wonder she went for such a run this morning. But it seems this hits closer to the root of the matter. "That of course she could just erase it from everyone's mind. Do you understand? She believes that the proper response to her own failure is to violate the very selves of complete strangers."


Erik is very quiet now. Of all the arguments made, this one is the one that weighs heaviest, perhaps on them all. It was this very possibility that had prompted Erik to fashion that damned helmet; who knows what damage has still to be undone from that escapade.

He looks from one to the other, then away with a long sigh. He reaches for another pierogi, then walks over toward the pantry. There, upon one of the shelves, is a notebook. He collects it, then walks back over toward Charles, offering it over.

One wouldn't need to read it to understand what it is. There's a look in Erik's eyes that says it all. Seems he's already written up that training plan.


That does shed quite a bit of light on the severity of Crystal's agitation, and the event she just described is resonating strongly enough with it Charles can only assume it's the pivotal one to the topic at hand. Charles frowns. "Erasing the memories of someone is a consequence. And not a light one." Charles says with the measured tones of a person who's spared more than a little thought to such things.

Charles is about to say more when Erik proffers the book. Still seated, Charles glances up in momentary puzzlement, but a moment later he laughs quietly, accepting the book with an amused shake of the head. "Thank you, my friend." he says. Leave it to Erik to be prepared on such a matter.


"It's rape, Charles. It's an absolute violation of a person's mind every bit as much as forcing them to do something against their will." Crystal eyes the notebook for a long moment then shakes her head, picking up her plate. "Erik, if you've not included something about ethics in there, I'll be happy to provide guidance on it. Perhaps there ought to be a chapter on responsible stealth as well. I'm going to finish this upstairs."


"It is strictly a field operations guide," Erik denotes. "It does not cover the morality or ethics of anything." He looks from Crystal to Charles. "If our people don't have that basis os understanding, then they aren't even ready…" He motions toward the book. "… for that."

Erik looks toward Crystal as she departs, a heavy sigh upon his features. He waits until she is gone, before looking back toward Charles. "Do read through it, Charles, but…" He walks forward, coffee in hand, and places a hand upon the man's shoulder. "Don't take too long making your decision."

With that, he's off to go upstairs. He has a Princess to attend to.


Crystal's sentiments are ones Charles is long familiar with. Some of them he's had rather loudly and angrily launched at him without a single word needing to be said. The irony of that notwithstanding, there is a very sharp difference between overhearing and altering. Charles doesn't try to stop Crystal when she leaves— this is a topic that is surely going to come up again, no reason to press it now when Crystal's already worn.

Charles looks up again to Erik when the hand is placed on his shoulder.. on this at least, they're all in clear accord. Charles smiles quietly and says, "I already have."


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