1963-12-10 - I Just Met You And This Is Crazy
Summary: The Professor arranges a (somewhat ghostly) visit for a troubled young man, with an offer of help…
Related: None
Theme Song: None
pietro xavier 

How many times has he told himself it wasn't entirely his fault? How many times has he berated himself for letting it happen at all? How many times has he blamed his sister? How many times has he dreamt of going back, and doing the things he did in the 'living nightmare' that was all those months?

Too many. For all of them.

Pietro Maximoff, eldest of the Maximoff twins, is running. This started at the apartment loaned to him and his sister by SHIELD, and right now… he is somewhere in the countryside, just outside of New York.

He doesn't really care where.

Here the properties are larger — people have backyards that could be called 'paddocks' — the winding roads are less crowded, and when time seems to stand still (which is an often occurrence for Pietro), the view is beautiful.

No one can see how broken he is, out here.

No one can see him at all.

Or at least no one should be able to…

And yet, as he stops at a low wooden fence to take a moment for himself out in the middle of nowhere, a voice sounds at his elbow: "You shouldn't hold yourself responsible, you know. It wasn't your fault what was done to you any more than it was the fault of the people you yourself hurt. None of you wished for it to happen that way.

Looking to the side, Pietro finds an indistinct transparent form at his side, glowing faintly blue and talking with a pleasing accent he should definitely be familiar with, but he for some reason can't quite place.

What follows is… a streak.

A silver streak going one way. Then another. And another. And another… so fast that to an observer from above, it would look like someone had just left a shimmering, silver star — like the ones that can be drawn with a pencil without taking it off the paper at all — across the street.

Eventually, the speedster comes to a halt, an eyebrow arched in suspicion, and he says: "You are either very fast… or not here. Or not real. Have had voice in my head before — wasn't fun. Who the hell're you?"

A car drives by, having to divert around the young man standing in the middle of the road, in the middle of nowhere in the New York countryside.

When Pietro takes off, no one should be able to follow him. And yet a heartbeat later, the transparent form appears next to him again, trying to say something before he turns that sharp corner and takes off again.

This continues a handful of times as Pietro zips around in his star shape, and it happens one time more when he finally stops. The difficult to describe form flashes into existence again next to him, speaking calmly enough, (or at least appearing to speak) "Right.. thank you for stopping a moment. My name is Charles Xavier, and to put it succinctly, I'm like you and your sister."

"You're crazy?" is Pietro's immediate response — after all, both he and his sister are chaos-magnets (perhaps she more than he), they both have some serious powers, some even more serious history… and a number of skeletons in the closet.

Carefully, his body partly angled away, his head turned forward and his eyes narrowed, the Maximoff twin approaches the 'apparition'… and immediately tries to poke his finger at it.

"Who — what — are you? Where are you? Am I going… crazier??"

The indistinct form doesn't retreat, and Pietro's finger jabs right through him without resistance. He does however come more into 'focus', taking on the appearance of a floating man with dark hair in slacks and a button-down with a rather cozy looking sweater with an unfortunate argyle pattern on over top.

"No, not crazy my young friend." the apparition says with some amusement. "I don't believe either of us are that. But I am a mutant, as are you."

I'm talking to a ghost in a street in the middle of nowhere… Pietro thinks to himself as he glances away from the spectre of a typical businessman. This must be what it feels like to be Wanda…

Eyeing the ghost again, Pietro leans back with his chin tucked in and points a finger again at it. "Okay. I'll bite — no. Argh, no. Forget I said that. Forget, forget, forget… no." And he swears — profusely — in Transian.

Now looking much more dejected, his eyes downcast, he inquires: "What do you want with me?"

The 'ghost' just smiles in a friendly sort of way where he floats. "I wanted to let you know that you aren't alone." he says simply. And adds a moment later, "And… not to be so hard on yourself. I'd like to talk to you, if you've a moment. Though," the ghost — Xavier, he'd said — turns his head as if glancing about before recommending wryly, "It may be better to do so out of the roadway before you alarm any more hapless motorists."

Pietro shrugs, and walks to the sidewalk. Since he is near a bench, he sits down, hooks an ankle over a knee and spreads both his arms along the back of the bench — as if claiming the whole thing.

"Do ghosts need chairs?" he asks, smirking. Some of his usual cheekiness is starting to come back. "So," says he, regarding the apparition. "Do I call you Charles? Or Xavier? And, is not alone, alright? I have my sister — she's crazy, by the way. But she does like ghosts. Now… let's talk."

The proper-looking spectre floats along after Pietro, chuckling a bit at the question put to him. "I'm already quite comfortable, thank you." he replies, hovering a bit in front of Pietro.

A pair of pedestrians walking through pass within inches of the ghost, chatting happily without any apparent sign they might see something strange.

"And your sister isn't crazy either, you know," the apparition continues blithely. "Not really. As to your other question, most people call me Professor Xavier. I run a school you see for those with abilities like ours."

"I already graduated."

That's what this is? Visitation from ghost to… school? To go to school?? …Starting to think I'm not the crazy one… Aloud, Pietro follows up with: "What kind of — wait. For people like — ? Like us?" Now he is… slightly more intrigued.

"Where…" he inquires, speaking very slowly and leaning just a bit closer to the ghost of Charles Xavier. "…is this school? Is for the living, no? 'Cause, I did the whole 'undead' thing and it disagreed with me. Needing to be corporeal to enrol?"

If the spirit says 'a cemetery near…' I am so out of here. Digging the suit, though.

The glowing figure laughs, shaking his head once as he assures, "No, no. No cemeteries. I'm not a ghost Pietro, I'm very much alive, current appearance notwithstanding. As I said, I'm like you, as are the others here. We teach for those who need a welcoming place to learn, but our doors are open to those who simply need a welcoming place in general."

"..You seem as if you might, right now."

Pietro goes silent for some time.

He wants to believe it — there's a part of him that already does sort of believe it, while the rest of him… doubts. Too many suspicions. Too many betrayals.

It hasn't quite occurred to him that the 'ghost who says he's not a ghost' can read his mind… not yet, anyway. He holds off on replying as cars drive past — their occupants only seeing a lone man upon a bench. They don't see Xavier.

This puzzles the young man (a glowing astral figure should draw attention), so he says: "Excuse, moment," and dashes away to 'take a peek' inside the cars as they go by, to see if they notice Xavier at all.

Back in a flash, he gestures to them with a thumb over his shoulder as he walks to the bench, and remarks: "They do not see you, Professor. But… I do. Are you… not a ghost because you're in my head? Jesus, I am going crazy…"

Xavier nods his head in acknowledgement…though really by the time he's finished with the gesture Pietro is probably already back. He chuckles. "You're very ready to believe that of people, aren't you? I suppose it is a straightforward answer for many confusing things, but the truth is sometimes more unusual. Your first guess was actually much closer; a good deal of this," he gestures down at his ghostly form, "is in your head. That's my ability."

The ghostly figure gets up from where he'd appeared to be sitting on the bench, facing Pietro. "And you are not wrong that there are expectations for those who come to our school. We're working to show the world that we, mutants, can be a capable, positive force in society, while providing a safe place for those who need it to master their abilities and find community. Everyone who comes here is expected to help keep it a safe place for others who may need it, and to seek to better themselves during their stay. There are chores," the ghost— the mutant says, though this last is tinged with a chuckle, "Though somehow I don't think taking out the trash or sweeping up occasionally would slow you down much. It is your choice, Pietro. I am not here to convince you, only to extend a hand in friendship. What you do from here is entirely up to you."

Xavier takes a step back at that point, making it clear he won't take up any more of Pietro's time if he does not wish it.

Pietro is silent.

If the ghostly professor is indeed inside his head — that thought still leaves the young man feeling somewhat unnerved — then he can probably hear the Maximoff's mind working through the various questions and options presented to him.

A chance to do something good…

Responsibility? Chores? Ugh…

A chance to make up for past sins…

What would Wanda think?

And his… nephews?

Should he tell them?

A chance to do something good… past sins… something good… past sins… something…

"Good." Pietro looks back at Xavier and lifts his chin. "Is sounding like a good idea," he reaffirms. "Where is this place? How will I find it? …do you always speak to your students as a ghost?" That could be weird.

Xavier laughs! "No no, I generally keep to standard flesh and blood when about the school, I hope that won't be too disappointing for you to hear."

The upbeat ghost pauses, giving Pietro a smile that could almost be…proud.

"I'll show you the way."

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