1964-05-30 - Learned Helpfulness
Summary: Lorna tries to introduce Seth to the Professor. It doesn't go well for anyone.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
xavier seth lorna 

Lorna had quite frankly, kidnapped Seth, to the restaurant with little preamble. A promise of a good meal, for free, if he just met her 'Uncle Charlie' pretty please. Had been the deal breaker once she'd upended him into her car once more. It seemed that the young mutant was constantly doing such to Seth, but it didn't seem to phase her too horribly as she entered the restaurant and settled down into a chair.

She practically vibrated with nervous energy as she drummed her fingers on the table top and looked over the menu at Seth and back. "I promise, Uncle Charlie— I mean Professor Xavier, it totally chill. And if you don't want to come over to the mansion it's fine. You don't have to." It went unsaid that she really wanted the homeless mutant to do so. It hadn't been the first time she'd pestered him about it either.

She bit her lower lip, fidgeting in her seat as she waited for the Professor to show up. Her green hair pulled back into a braid and a loose fitting blue sundress tapered inwards around her waist with a white ribbon tied in a bow at her back. Flip-flops tapped against the tiles as she waited.


Seth had signed up for free food. He had not prepared for an interview. Although his clothes were as clean as they ever could be, his cheeks and hands recently scrubbed in a like fashion, there was no erasing the dirt and grease that creased the crows' feet just beginning to form at the edges of those bright blue eyes. Even as Lorna tittered away, he tapped a foot uncomfortably against the ground, practically vibrating with nervous energy that was hidden behind a sneer and a quiet,

"I'm ordering the most expensive thing here and then I'm not going to eat it to spite you."

And it really looked as if he needed a meal or three. Thus this sentiment was a testament to his spite.


And that's when the Professor enters. A bit oddly for him, he's wearing sunglasses inside. He also looks a bit paler than normal, his hair somewhat mussed up, as he heads towards the table. One of the waitresses walks past the Professor and tsks, "Honey, you were drinking all night with Logan again weren't you?"

Charles ahems, "It wasn't /that/ many drinks, Sarah… but, coffee strong enough to etch glass would be a Godsend." The waitress snickers and heads back into the kitchen, while Charles takes a seat across from Lorna and Seth, his expression a bit rueful as he smiles, "Good afternoon." Well, at least he's still polite, as he glances over at Lorna, then back at Seth, "This was the young man you had mentioned?" He still hasn't taken off the sunglasses, either. Though he does smile over at Seth, "And feel free to order what you like, lunch is going to be on me today."


Seth's grumbling earned a look from Lorna, "Seth, please? C'mon. If you want to go camping, you can at least humor me with meeting him." She elbowed lightly, and as Charles entered she perked up. A beaming smile pulled at her lips as she sat up properly in her chair and stopped fidgeting immediately.

She had explained a bit here and there about Seth. The homeless mutant had been with her through being captured by Mojo (the interdimensional being) and how Seth had been a good friend. Even if they totally got into arguments pretty often. But she was worried about him, and how'd it be nice if he was at least cleared for the mansion… even if he didn't want to come.

"Yep, this is Seth." She nodded, her smile remaining. "Seth, this is Professor Charles Xavier. He's head of the school I go to. Well one of 'em, but yeah."


The young man stilled with an unnerving swiftness as the stranger settled across the table from them, his shoulders rolling forward calmly whilst the vibrating foot settled on the floor. There was no steadying breath, no obvious moment of collection, simply trembling nerves to an instantaneous calm that could only be learned through former necessity. Teeth pressed his tongue while everyone spoke first and then he shrugged and nodded, feeling no need to introduce himself further. Guarded and distant, he glanced to Lorna for further guidance on this process.

"Uh. Hey."

10 out of 10, Seth. Way to make a great first impression.


Charles smiles slightly, "Hello Seth." His expression brightens considerably as coffee is deposited in front of him, as he mutters, "Your first lesson, children, is never try to outdrink a man who has a healing factor." With that, he puts a bit of cream into the coffee, then takes a long drink, followed by a very satisfied sigh.

"Ah, much better. So, Seth… my understanding is that you don't wish to attend the school itself? Is that correct? Because, well, we do have quite a bit to offer gifted individuals." The Professor isn't making the hardest sell, but he is making sure he understands the situation, from what Lorna has said.


Lorna dearly wanted Seth to come, the poor boy had been pestered endlessly about it. A constant pleading for him to at least get off the street and somewhere safe, where he couldn't be targeted just for being a mutant. She had met the boy quite by accidental luck, and clearly wanted to see him improve his lot in life. Even if Seth disagreed that it needed improving.

Lorna bit her lower lip at Charles' comment about drinking. "My father and Wanda both said I shouldn't drink with my powers." But she had, came the guilty thought. Nephews with super speed and a heightened metabolism had given Lorna her first hangover. So there was sympathy at least for Uncle Charlie's predicament, and she modulated her voice (both mental and physical) as best she could.

A glance aimed next toward Seth followed as she worried her lower lip. "I've told Seth a bit about what can be offered—" A pause followed, "Seth, there's a guy named Remy Lebeau, he can't read at all, and I'm pretty sure he's older than you and he's attending. So, if you wanted to… you know.."


Seth blinks at the question, looking to Lorna once more as his jawline tightened ever so slightly. The coffee was regarded with a hungry sort of consideration, but it was a want without intention. He picked up his water glass instead and took a swig, speaking into it as he spit out an ice cube.

"Can't do school. I have to work."

That was a lie(ish). He did have to provide for himself. He certainly didn't have time for school. Work was a broad strokes definition of how he put food in his stomach though. At Lorna's interjection, he raised a lip and let out a huff,

"I can read."

That was a lie in full.


The Professor sighs a bit, leaning back in his chair, "This will go a lot easier, Seth, if you just be honest. Room and board is provided by the Institute, and we can get you to the point where you can take a GED. As Lorna mentioned, there is another student that we're helping in just that way."

The Professor then simply says, "What's the /real/ reason that you don't want to come to the school?" Apparently the Professor isn't quite as patient as he normally is when he's hung over.


Lorna blinked, and turned wide eyes on Seth, green eyebrows hooking upwards as she eyed him. "Seth? I told you that Uncle Charlie is a telepath right? Don't lie to a telepath." She murmured, and reached for a hot chocolate that was placed before her, whipped cream and chocolate dust on it vanished in a swift inhale. Once more the green haired mutant had a thing for sweets. Life was short, her father would get over her diet of sweets eventually. Or at least stop chiding her over it. Maybe.

A pout followed as she glanced between the Professor and back, "You could actually get a job, Seth.." She added, stealing out of cars that were unlocked was not acceptable as a job to Lorna. Not in the least, especially when it had been her car she'd caught Seth at.. though that had ended in swimming at the river.


Seth levels a glare at Lorna and may have even gone so far as to nudge her underneath the table with a foot as he bristled at the direction the conversation was going.

"She told me we were just going for a drive, to be honest. Why would I want to go to a school? Someone is always tellin' Lorna where she can and cannot go, or makin' her feel responsible for her powers in ways she isn't able to be controlling them yet. I'm nothing fancy like ya'll, but I'm no danger to myself or others the way I'm living now."

There was a little shrug at that, and then he clarified,

"And I do too work, Lorna. Just 'cause it's not something you approve doesn't mean I don't have to do it. I don't like handouts. Sir."

He added the Sir on the end as if it were an afterthought. It sounded garbled on his tongue.


Charles arches a brow, "You don't like handouts, but stealing is acceptable. That's an… interesting moral compass you have there." He takes another drink of his coffee, then gives Lorna a curious look before he glances at Seth, "I'm not going to debate Lorna's class schedule with you, since you obviously wouldn't have the same regimen as that would depend on your abilities and talents."


Lorna pursed her lips as she lowered her mug of hot chocolate, "Seth, I can come and go as I want to. My father is simply over-protective… and he's not a teacher. So it's not like you have to answer to him. It's not that I can't go places, it's just.." She blinked, and wrinkled up her nose. "I love my father and I'm not willing to push certain things." Certain things like ditching for a night without telling anyone to go camping on a lake with a certain homeless mutant. Erik might set ground rules, but he never raised his voice with his daughter when she broke them. It was always that soft furrowing of his eyebrows and a look, and Lorna always beat herself up far more than anything Erik could say or do.

Green eyes shifted toward Xavier and she knew that she was losing any chance to gain approval for Seth to come onto the grounds. A glance back toward Seth and she bit her lower lip, brows furrowing.

"What if you worked while you stayed for a while? Mister Logan chops firewood and lives on the grounds." She offered, and then glanced back down at her hot chocolate. It was clearly more important to the young woman that Seth be accepted than it seemed to Seth.


Seth sets down his water purposefully as the muscle above his eye twitched just a little. When one has been conditioned to show no fear, they come quite masterful at composure under duress. A tongue ran over teeth already showing more wear than his young age should have weathered, and he minced his words carefully while moving to stand, an artful smile on his lips.

"Listen, I appreciate you comin' out and all but I obviously-" Emphasis placed on the use of the word obvious in the same tonality that the Professor had offered it within, "-would not be a good fit for the school. I think we are both just here to do a favor, not sign up for classes and debate my moral compass."

That last bit had obviously struck a nerve. Seth never pretended at being a good person, and did not tolerate fools holding him to standards even he dare not reach for. Although upon Lorna's interjection, he paused in adjusting his jacket and hesitated in his departure. It wasn't the offer of work hanging in the air but the look in her eyes, that mixture of exasperation and pleading hope that he was tired of constantly disappointing.


The Professor stares calmly at Seth, finishing his coffee. The waitress provides a refill pretty fast, and he puts another dose of creamer in there. Stirring the coffee, he shrugs, "I won't force you to make any sort of decision, Seth. If you don't wish to be welcome on the school grounds, you won't be. Simple as that."

Charles then sips his coffee, looking at Seth evenly as he continues, "But if you want a professional opinion that doesn't even require telepathy, you're comfortable. You like your life as it is now because you don't have to worry about disappointing anyone, you can just play hooky from responsibilities and you don't have to think about how you could be doing more with your talents. So you can get all angry at me for pointing that out right now, or you can attempt to rise to the occasion. Sure, you might fall now and again, but the reason you fall is so you can pick yourself back up, not to lay on the ground for the rest of your life."

Finishing that talk, Charles then sips his coffee again, "When you're ready to pick yourself up… we'll be more than happy to take you in. Until then, as you said, you're not willing or ready to do it."


Seth's words seemed to deflate Lorna significantly, her shoulders slumped, and her head lowered a fraction, two. Her teeth worried at her lower lip as she kept her gaze lowered onto her hot chocolate. It would seem that it was an old argument, one that she saw little point in arguing and stirring up the other mutant over again. Or at least not in front of the Professor.

The look only increased as he turned to go, her lower lip trembling faintly before her jaw squared in that typically stubborn line that was an inherited trait of her father's.

"I just wanted you to have someplace safe to be Seth.." She mumbled, staring hard at her hot chocolate. Her head spun with headlines of mutant hunters, and other fears that she'd seen herself, killer robots in mutant town, drug dealers trying to get mutant kids.. Mojo..

It didn't take telepathy to see the young woman cared for some reason about the homeless mutant. Xavier's words brought her gaze back up and she grimaced faintly.


It was fortunate that the youth was not inclined to episodes of rage, or had a particularly violent power, as that succinct assessment of his existence would have pushed his composure over the edge of reserve. As it was, his throat bobbed as he swallowed the first several things that came to mind, all of them expletives, and his chin raised just a notch higher. For all his youth, he was not scared of a man that could turn his skull inside out and bring him to his knees screaming in madness. Perhaps that was part of the problem.

"If you think I am so far beneath you that I'm laying on the ground-"

A lifted lip as he sneered, an expression that fit perfectly on those chapped and weather beaten features.

"-then I can find another dog house to live in. I am sure you can find another stray to make yourself feel good about 'taking in.'"

A pause was spared, but he didn't look at Lorna, not directly. He couldn't bring himself to at the moment, knowing this was yet another failure in the long line of processions that her closest friends and family were quick to remind her of in relation to Seth. Oh well.

"I'm fine, Lorna. I'll see you around." And then he turned to leave, his fingertips flicking out once or twice to avoid the fists he wanted to ball them into.


Charles glances over at Lorna as Seth doesn't take his words all that well at all. He sips his coffee again, and says quietly at the table… quietly enough for only Lorna to hear, "I can't protect those who don't want it, and I'm not going to force someone in who's not ready for it. He has potential, but he has to /want/ it. I can't make him do that." Then he smiles faintly, "But that doesn't mean we can't keep tabs on him, either."

Louder, the Professor says simply, "Neither Lorna nor I are the ones that think you are beneath us, or the school, Seth." Ouch, the thing about a telepath /and/ a trained psychiatrist is that he knows how someone ticks pretty damn fast.


Lorna closed her eyes against the familiar snarling and spitting, she'd heard it a half a dozen times already. She knew Seth got defensive, which is why she'd just let the matter drop. "Tata said he had potential too, and then Seth took off." She muttered, she sighed, frowning faintly as she picked up her hot chocolate. Green eyes lifted to follow after Seth as he left and then she was looking back toward the Professor.

She so desperately believed that somehow, Seth was a good person and worth her time and effort. Questionable morals aside. Seth had taken off his coat in the snow for her, when she'd knocked down a building in a blind panic, had stood with her until the taxi came to pick her up. He'd held her gently when she'd cried and listened to her when she'd panicked and calmed her down. He could be all of those things, and Lorna knew it.

"He's not going to be allowed on school grounds." She said it as a statment, she knew given how'd the conversation had gone that it was quite obvious. Her voice remained small however, and her expression pinched in quiet distress over the thought.


Seth heard the Professor's parting words, but save for a small bristling of nerves and a straightening of his shoulders, he did not press the issue further. There was only so much that could be gained from a conversation and the value was expired now. And although he wasn't particularly ashamed, he still slunk as he slipped out the door and onto the streets, allowing the crowd to swallow him up until it spit him back out three alleys away and he could sink to the ground and breathe.

Because at the end of the day, what Lorna was asking of him was a terrifying proposition that no aspect of his life had ever prepared him for. As he knotted his hair in his hands and let his head rock forward to rest against his knees, he tried to search himself for any shred of possible success in all of his potential. Despite what Lorna claimed was there, he couldn't find it.


Charles shakes his head towards Lorna, not looking very happy about the prospect, "He has to want it, Lorna. I can't force him to do it." Well, he technically could, but he never would do anything like that, as he places a hand over Lorna's, giving it a light squeeze. "This isn't a final verdict, Lorna. If he wants to come in, changes his mind… we'd still take him in. I won't turn away people that want to come to the school."


"I know." Lorna's voice was small and she inhaled a deep breath before slowly exhaling. With her free hand she reached up to run it over her features. "I'd just hoped maybe you'd get somewhere that I hadn't. He's really a good person." She mumbled, lifting her gaze back toward Charles with a hopeful plea for confirmation in her trust.

A sigh pulled from her lips and she looked down at her hot chocolate and gave his hand a return squeeze. "Between him and Laura I don't think either of them will get off the streets. And it's frustrating with the likes of the Brotherhood out there, and all kinds of people that want to hurt mutants and stuff. Seth got taken in by Mojo, and I didn't know he was missing for weeks. And then I couldn't even find him. Granted, okay, sure most people don't get kidnapped by trans-dimensional beings that run TV shows.. but still. It could be anything. Giants, aliens, magic-y things.." She exhaled a heavy huff of a breath.

"He can take a beating and all but it doesn't mean that he should have to.. and I just.. I want to see him safe."


Charles nods, and gently hugs Lorna, going from Professor to Uncle Charlie with that, "I know, Lorna. And I sensed it in him too. I was hoping that I could provoke it to the surface, but…" He shakes his head and sighs, "It's a hard lesson sometimes, we can't save people who don't want to be saved. All we can do is offer and hope they take the hand."

Then he lets her go, and nods, "We can keep an eye out for him, make sure he's not put in too much danger, but at the end, this is his choice." He takes off his sunglasses, eyes still a bit bloodshot as he regards Lorna, "All we can do is wait and make sure he knows the offer is out there."


Lorna hugged Charles back, her chin wobbling again as she blinked back tears that threatened to well up. It seemed she was always crying around Charles. It was just that comfortable trust, the one that said it was okay to cry, that did it every time. She sniffled as he let her go, rubbing at her nose and blinking repeatedly as she nodded weakly.

"I guess so." She mumbled, biting her lower lip. "I just feel like it's not enough. I dunno. Thanks for coming out and trying anyways.." She shrugged faintly, reaching up to twist her braid between her fingers.


Charles nods at Lorna, "You take after me too much, I think. I feel the same way. But we can't save people that don't want to be saved, Lorna. All we can do is try and hope they want it." He places some cash on the table, covering the bill for the three of them as he gets a bit of a rueful expression, putting on his sunglasses.

"And now," the Professor states, "I'm going to need to express sincere apologies to Emma about last evening. And hope she'll be satisfied I don't have Scott's head on a pike… tempting as it might have been to get her that. Hopefully white roses will suffice." He neglects to mention it was a roomful of them.


Lorna shrugged, "There are worse people to take after." Raven came to mind immediately, and was banished from just as fast. Lorna's run ins with the Brotherhood were definitely not something she wanted to think about just then.

At the mention of Emma and her run in with Scott she winced, "Well, it's a good start. Miss Frost does like white. Tata said it's like she trademarked it." She flashed a grin, and it was all in good fun. "But you should definitely like take her out too. And oh, you should take her dancing! Miss Frost is classy and stuff, I bet she knows all the best places." The fact that Julian had taken her out and spoiled her at fancy places, registered and was likewise banished from the forefront of her mind.

"Also, she has to know by now that Scott is seriously like that all the time. Like a total stick in the mud. Or the mud on a stick rather. Err.. or maybe like a tree that sank in a swamp.." She continued on in that vein, picking on poor Scott and keeping things light as they left the cafe behind.

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