1963-12-31 - The Goalie and the Model
Summary: Jean-Philippe and Betsy take in New Year's Eve at Harry's Hideaway.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
fantomex psylocke 

It was New Year's Eve at Harry's Hideaway and many of the faculty from the Xavier Institute were there. It was something of a tradition, though others had to be elsewhere, for one reason or another. There were also the usual Salem Centre locales. As it was a Fancy Dress Party, Fantomex stood a chance of going unnoticed and unrecognised. Except that he had chosen to go as Jacques Plante of the Montreal Canadiens.

He wore black Adidas sneakers, with white laces. Above that, he wore brown hockey pads over blue pants. He had a red shirt on, very tight, which showed off his muscles. There was a strip of blue in the middle, bordered by white, and a large 'C' symbol, which also had an 'H' inside of it. His wrists were covered by brown gloves, and in one hand he held a goaltender's ice hockey stick. Higher up, he wore a white hockey mask over his regular mask.

There were other people dressed in simiar garb. This has been known in the town for some time, and many of the faculty at Xavier's had been talking about it. Harry's always had the best parties, and because the town was so small, it was never as packed as it would be in the city.

Psylocke had a glass of wine. She had gotten it from the bar and she'd then disappeared into a shadow and re-emerged near the darknest corner of the bar she could find. She was wearing the same clothing she'd had on this morning at the rink, the long covering coat and dark slacks/shoes. She sipped her wine and watched the others from the dark corner, not wanting to be a part of the festivities directly.

With Psylocke not participating in the costume party, one of the waitresses came over, "hello hon, no costume today? Well, that's okay. Here's a tiara and a wand." He set them down on the table. The tiara said Happy New Year. It was plastic. Typically American. And the wand lit up. It was meant to make her look like a princess. The waitress also carried some swords and pirate hats, for any guy that was without a costume. "You want a menu?" They were still serving finger foods, snacks, and such. Setting it down just in case, "I'll let you think on it." And with that said, she headed off. She didn't have time for small talk. But maybe, it would be appreciated.

Jean-Philippe Plante was drinking some kind of fruity drink. With the hockey mask on, he could get away with it. He needed something with a straw, so he had ordered some red concoction. As he made his way towards Psylocke, whom he easily recognised, he said in a gruff, American accent, his best attempt at Quebecois accent, "you're not a lawbreaker, are you?" As if she'd have any clue who he was supposed to be.

Psylocke eyed the man in the mask when he approached and she sipped her drink. "Of course I am." She said quietly. "Just not in this country, as of yet." She had watched the waitress set the costume pieces down but she'd just rolled her eyes at the employee after they'd left and had said nothing to them. Another sip of her wine then and she stood there breathing quietly and enjoying the shadows of the dark corner.

Jaques "Jean-Philippe" Plante wore the iconic red, white, and blue of the Les Canadiens de Montreal, or the Habs as they were known. He wore the pads, carried the stick, and wore the mask, as Plante had been one of the few goaltenders to wear a mask. But behind it, it was quite clear that it was Fantomex. Most obviously it was his own plate-like mask, which he wore under the hockey mask. He spoke with a faux French accent, but where he preferred to speak with a Parisian accent, today he was trying for a Quebecois accent. "May I have this seat, mademoiselle?" The stick was cumbersome, and the pads were heavy to walk around. He was quite thankful to be able to sit, assuming of course that she would allow it.

And before she could answer, a guy in a gorilla outfit stood on top of another table and shouted out, "Happy New Year Newfoundland!" and beat on his chest. It meant that it was only 90 minutes before New Year's, as Newfoundland was on a thirty minute timezone of its own.

Psylocke sipped her drink and stared at Fantomex in his hockey equipment. She thought about asking him why he was dressed like a football player, but she ultimately realised she didn't care that much. She did not answer him about sitting… she wasn't sitting. She was standing. Near the back corner, beneath a glowing bar sign that was illuminating her face and body in bright cyan blue light.

Psylocke stared at the man in the gorilla suit and she wanted to punch him to make him shut up… but she just held back. She glanced over to Fanto then. "Why did you cry?" She asked him then.

Her question caught him off guard. She knew it was him, and she went straight to the heart of the matter between them. With that said, he removed his hockey mask, setting it down on the table next to the tiara and wand. He set his hockey stick against it as well. Curiously, it was at that moment that another waitress found him and brought him a drink, a pint of Guinness.

He paid for his drink, and eyeing how much was left of hers, decided not to offer to buy her a new one. It was more than half full. "That's… all right." He looked down at the table, then at the bar. If they had been alone, he might have done something differently. But in this company, he said, "I shared with you, something that was… intensely private. You know that I am… not like other people, when it comes to telepaths. I do not, take this off. For anyone. Until you."Even he wasn't sure why he did it. "I only remove it to change it for a new one. And, you immediately said you didn't want me. It… hurt."

Psylocke heard his response and she was quiet again for a spell, her eyes going back to the idiots in the bar around them. "I should not have done it." She said then. "It was out of anger alone… but all I looked at was the skating. I found it and I copied it and I got out. Nothing else." She stared at him. "I learned nothing else about you because that would be dishonourable. I… am hard on you, I know I am. I am sorry. But you have done things that perplex me beyond words… however, stealing your thoughts is without honour." She sighed then and looked away from him again, sipped her wine again.

"I appreciate that. But, I would not have allowed you into my head, if I did not trust you. You are hard on me. But I… probably deserve it. I have done things, things I am not proud of. And maybe, that might be why I find you so appealing. I see something of myself, oh, we have our differences, but… I sense a kinship in you. Betsy, I am a flirt. I am a scoundrel. I am a rogue. I am all of it. But, all I really want is to be your friend, and if anything else happens, then that is gravy."

Psylocke stood quietly in the corner near a little shelf that she could set her drink glass on. She downed it and then took another one from the waitress who she had instructed to bring her another. She heard what he said and glanced at him. "I'm not quite even sure why you'd want to be with someone." Her voice was entirely British all of the sudden, not a trace of Japanese accent. "If you are all of those things that you just said you are, why would you want to BE in a relationship at all? You'd have to worry about the well being of who you care for… being harmed by those who hate you."

"Because I know that we are more than the sum of our parts. I," and he has to admit, "… haven't experienced it yet, but I know it to be true. There wouldn't be quite so much art, literature, poetry, movies, and songs about it, if it weren't true." He was being so open with her. Even his accent seemed to change. He wasn't doing the French accent. He was speaking natural, sounding English himself. He grew up in London, well, under it, but he chose to be French. "I want to try. I want to feel. I want to be able to be myself. I want to… remove this mask. And I want to know you, every facet of you, and to have you know me. People are going to want to kill us, because we're different, because of what we've done, or what we will do. This world could end tomorrow. But, there is no place I'd rather be, than wherever you are."

Betsy sipped her wine and listened to the man pour out his heart and soul to her, she didn't know why, it didn't make any sense to her. "Did you just tell me that you have never been with a woman before?" She asked him. "How is that even possible? You're not ugly, you come at woman like they are a free steak dinner… surely oen of them has dropped their panties for you by this year in your aging life." She spoke in her british accent, but it was still stern words. Thankfully it was loud enough in this bar that nobody could really hear their conversation but them.

Jean-Philippe shook his head. "I have been with women before… but, I have never been in a relationship with a woman before." He was selfish, he was a womaniser, he was far worse things than that, and he was openly admitting to it. "But that is not what I want. I know, you do not want a relationship, at all, or with me. But…" He took another sip of his alcoholic beverage, drowning a fair amount of it. "I like you, Betsy. I want to be your friend. I have hopes for the future, but for now, that is all I want. I want to know you, to find out what it is like to be with someone, not… what I've experienced, but, what I'm supposed to experience. You have made an impression on me."

Psylocke walked over to him and she sat down on the chair beside him at the table. She put her wine glass down on the table and she looked over at him. "We are friends." She said to him, her voice Japanese again. "But you do not need to… throw yourself at me. All you do is just… be there, be nice, but not stupid… And don't cry. At least not while I'm watching." She smirked then and leaned back in her chair, watching the festivities of the night unfold in the bar and on the small shitty 1963 tvs. She was glad they were not in Manhattan. "I just need quiet, my head hurts… all the time… can barely even sleep."

Jean-Philippe wasn't sure how to take it. It seemed like she was warming to him, though she had adopted her colder, Japanese tone. "I'm here, I… can be nice, and I'll try not to cry. But I make no promises on the other point." He was teasing, speaking in his pseudo French accent again. If her armour was up, then so was his. He thought about the issues of her sleeping. "I've actually already taken the precautions of shielding my room." He had done it himself, installing the same kind of panels in his mask, in the walls. Nothing telepathic got in or out of that room. It was how he could sleep at night. The shields also had a way of keeping out the noise from voices as well. "If you'd like, I could do the same for your room, or trade rooms, and I'll install the same shields in my new room." He looked up at the TV. It was getting close to midnight. "There's a custom, at midnight, people kiss…" he was sure she knew about it, but it was his way of bringing it up. "Do you think that we could?"

Psylocke looked to the TV and she sighed at his question. "You're intolerable." She told him at his request. She shakes her head then side to side and sips her wine. "I don't care." She says to him quietly. "If you want to, then do it. Just don't 'cry' about it if I don't jump at you and start kissing you back all the time. It is a New Years tradition. I admire traditions."

"I'd prefer to be incorrigible, but if intolerable is how you feel." She was mean, so mean to him, and yet, he was still here, still wanting to be closer to her. He did wonder what she was going through. What made her the way she was? Was she always like this, or did some terrible event trigger it? She shook her head in the negative, yet allowed it? That was a curious contradiction, but he wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth, even if it was the most beautiful mouth he had ever had the privilege of laying his eyes upon. "I didn't have many traditions, growing up… so, I do enjoy them now. And… I understand." He sat with her, watching the coverage on the television. It was almost time. People began to chant in unison. "Ten… nine… eight…" and by the time it reached one, Fantomex had pulled up his mask, and leaned in to press his lips against hers. He was slow, giving her ample opportunity to pull away. In fact, he didn't even go the full way. He went about ninety-five percent of the way, and held it, waiting for her to finish it, hoping that she would finish it, and despite not being a religious man, praying that she would finish it.

Psylocke returned the kiss but she didn't move a lot. She just closed her eyes and returned it while seated comfortably still with her left hand on her drink. When they parted she drew in a breath and opened her eyes to look forward once again. "There." She said back at him. "I hope that gives you what you wanted." Her wine hand came up and she drank from it again while watching the others in the bar go crazy for 1964's arrival.

It actually was. He wanted to do normal things with her. Like kissing on New Year's eve, enjoying each other's company, and having a good time, even if it was a little awkward to get her to open up. Still, it was progress. She hadn't threatened to kill him. "Thank you Betsy, that was lovely, and it was." He even liked the taste of her lips on him afterwards. He was trying to place the taste of her lipstick. Or was it just her natural taste? "It's a new year. We can take what we want from the past, and move into a brand new era. 1964 is going to be a great year. I guarantee it."

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