1964-08-22 - It's Not Simple, but It Works
Summary: Jean gives Kaleb an impromptu therapy session.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
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kaleb jean-grey 

Last night was a good thing that happened. Logan woke up, all was right in the world, focus is expanding…

And now to the really important stuff. Jean, the resident fixer, the mind killer, the Phoenix… okay, too many titles and not enough time to do anything with them!

But for now, as important as it was, lingering issues have been leaving the manse itself with a nasty impression. There might have been a fight. Heightened feelings. Things of regret, and promises that were broken or possibly not broken.. whomever. It didn't matter, but questions needed asking and answers needed telling. So a quiet reach out, a mental nudge towards Kaleb.. 'Come meet.' Said the spider to the fly. 'You owe me a conversation'.

Directions were left, key cards in places where only Kaleb would find, access to the number pad entry given.. and yet erased moments after.

And if he arrives? Jean would be in full uniform sans hood, sitting crossed legged upon the ground in an empty room with white walls and a clean white floor.

Because why not?

Kaleb arrived in time. He was not staying at the school and there was, in teh recesses of his being, fear of it. He had a wan wariness of the people and a fear of the noise and dangers it held to him that were, if nothing else, sensible for the recently captured mutant.

Still the young man named by himself 'Echo' arrived in his usual style; dressed entirely too nice. The entrance was super secure and the strange checkpoints and architecture were enough a distraction to calm and abate any of his myriad concerns.

Footsteps arrived without any sound as herald of his arrival. Or the door. He was keeping silence close to him as his vest or wingtip Oxford shoes. The only thing with him was a sleek black racing helmet that had two 'ears' that sort of sharpened at the top. It was black and at least matched the suit. As the floor down here was quieter he removed the helmet and nodded to Jean with a quiet, but palpable paranoia. "Ms. Grey. Nice place."

Meditation, it was the foundation to keep from going crazy, at least that's how Jean saw it when she tucked her mind within itself. It actually made her laugh. Meditation to her, was musing about certain things and making jokes about them that no one would hear. Even like mentally talking crap about Stacey and the way that she decided to wear her hair, or the many fatty foods that she eats and all of the carb loading going right to her fu-…


The voice of Kaleb.. which could be calm, could be reserved, has one eye popping open and shifting towards the left, her hand lifting to wiggle fingers to bring him forward so that he could take a seat in front of her. The helmet? If this were the future she'd think of Daft Punk, but now? It almost seems as if he were alien in his own right. Odd.

"You don't have to wear that around me." She states, and even gives a smile. "But this is our danger room. Here, we fight, blow things up, and somehow.. thanks to Hank, everything returns to normal." At least, that's how she sees it. "I didn't call you here to fight though, just figure it would be the best place to talk without interruption."

Kaleb was quiet. Then again a sonic didn't have to speak up, they could just put their words where they wanted to and it seemed he was regaining sufficient mastery of that to take care of mundane things like conversation and general weirdness that was his personality quirk.

Echo's eyes tried to follow the strange nature of the room having 100,000 immediate questions about its structure, sub-structure, supports, retractable buttresses, and design elements. Hank. He filed the name away for later and bother him with those. Eeeeeexcellent.

Addressed he looked at the fiery redhead and nodded> It was almost as if he just didnt' exist in teh space not letting sound escape which was, in the background, a constant and persistant need to keep the world as quiet as possible. Likewise the helmet was carefully sat on the ground, and he sat next to it. One more glance around wondering qhat all might be done with a space like this and recalled to himself the underground city where he was free to level a small building and felt terrible about it all the same. Weird. His attention swiveled back to Jean silently and nodded in indication that he was ready and willing to hear her out. THere were a lot of questions about Warren, the kids, and Lorna and his own taking he was certain were piling up.

The danger room was a wondrous thing. Clearly the things that dreams were made up of. If someone wanted to have a night out on the town and was fearful of going out into public, all they had to do was program it in and it would be there, almost like magic. They've come a long way just to have this, quite possibly due to the invasion that happened only months before.

Jean waited patiently, but she did allow herself the moment to relax. Where her shoulders lowered just a touch, rolled a little, allowing the squeaky bits of parts of the leather she wore to sing out. There were notices here and there, the fact that he looked around the room before he actually sat was one, and his tight lipped demeanor..

"I know we've been meaning to have a chat here and there about Warren and what happened to him. And believe me, I want to find out who did this. But then there was the fact that you too, along with Miss Lorna went missing which hindered that conversation greatly." Her nose wrinkles as she tries to put thought to word, staring off for a moment, then smiles.

"Nevermind that. I feel you were angry long before you even came into this mansion. Long before you even put roots and friendships here. Why?"

Kaleb sat still having been prepared to try to figure out some sort of strategy like a creature of efficiency- derailed. The question of why he was ever angry caused him to blink. That might be the second time ever someoe's actually asked him why he was angry and not just Kaleb why are you such an unbelievable asshole?! It gave him pause and, for as much as he was prepared to say 'I'm not.' he really considered this.

After a long silence, and very careful surveilance of the womaan asking. He wasn't going to get abducted here. he couldn't hurt people here. He was also certain beyond doubt that she could turn him into some sort of gooey pancake shaped like a record without much trying. Such were his perceptions, but in this, found no reason to not actually speak to someone that wanted to listen. Trust was still a hard fought thing that he eemed hesitant to share. To her merit he opted in.

"You ever… stand there in a room full of people and try to get someone's attention and they move around you like ghosts?" He paused to figure out how to put things into words. God he was bad at this stuff. "Growing up we were there to be had, because having kids is what people do. Our own mother still can't tell us the fuck apart but that's besides the point. Just illustrates the issue here. You grow up being seen, marginally, and not heard. We watched people. You look to people to figure out how… to be. What is the world like and what do peopledo in it exactly. They smile to get you to stay long enough to sell you something. Flattery and compliment is the payment. They smile as a form of payment to buy your agreement, and there is no truth to any of it. They figure out how to say what you want to hear without saying anything so you can't have something to judge them on and to try to appeal to you to find a mate by the time they are out of high school so they know what their status is ALL the while buying, selling, trading, demolishing the lives and efforts of other people. This is just dinner. And what everyone, everyone wants to know is how to deal with anything they can't control that is different: the Mutants, the Gays, the Blacks, the Japanese, the Hispanics, and even the damn Avengers."

His jaw tightened, but he kept eyecontact with her. His words were tense, but his voice was ot raised and there seemed to be no accusation toeards her. "And we sit, and we listened, knowing even though I'm maybe the most passable guy in this school? Those people would sell me out in a second to 'help us'. They smile and put on a caring expression but people are hollow and just biding their time to get what they want. They don't give a damn. You seen the way they treat kids. You know they way people talk about Mutant Town like it's a leper community. Why am I mad? Throw a rock, Ms. Grey."

In a way, Jean could say that she was prepared for the angry rant when asking him a question as to why he was angry. She didn't flinch or wince, she didn't move an inch save for the natural nuances that people do when they're alive. Yeah, she listened. His words were taken into heart and memorized, but she did not minimize the way he felt about others. No.

What she did touch upon is something that he said in the beginning, and once this was thought about for the half a second, one might consider it an impulse with the way that she leans forward to place both elbows upon her thighs. She wasn't missing the point. She was focusing upon one that he made briefly. The question that he asked earlier and the words that followed.

"So you're angry because your parents didn't love you."

Jean's a dick.

Kaleb paused and blinked. There was almost literally no reaction. He shrugged. One could brace for anger on this but there was near nothing; at least there was no emotional response. "I don't think so. They sent us to incredibly good prep schools. I ask for things I get them. I have what I need. I want to go somewhere they send me." It was a very analytical approach. His expression was one of mild confusion. His ehad tilted as if trying to understand the concept in this.

"Uh.. huh.." Jean says quietly, her eyes squinting as she watches his reaction. It was like dead air. Not infuriating, but interesting. She could probably pick and pull him apart and yet, nothing left would remain. "So you grew up with money. Your parents sent you where ever you'd like to go, if you asked, would you have been able to stay with them and enjoyed their company as much as you would have theirs as a child?" She waves her hand faintly. "Don't answer that if you don't want to, that's just me outwardly thinking of your situation.."

She inhales, "So you're vehemently invested in mutant rights, did anything horrible happen to you when you.. well.. came out?"

Kaleb seemed really confused as if that is his definition of being a child. Any alluding to emotional connections seemed to have the signal fall into dead air. As to mutant rights? that got a reaction out of him and se squint faintly. "What affects mutants affects other marginalized subcultures as well. Everyone should be invested in it. Trust me I've heard shit peopel say when tehy don't think 'mixed genes' go that high up the social chain."

Elbows found knees where he sat and at the question of his evolution his chest tightened. His expression changed a bit and he quashed that from being 'feeling' as fast as he could reorganizing his mind into oe of efficiency instead of one of feeling. Fear management was hard, but he got good at it apparently, at least from surfacing. After a long quiet moment he blinked and considered. "Occasionally stuff broke. We… didn't know it was me. I mean adults talk and don't listen to kids," said withthe fact of knowledge that children have no voice because that's just the way of it. "I could start changing tone to demand people listen until they finally did. Aaaand that was neat. When it kicked in though there was… this kid in this classroom with me. We were alone and like he wouldn't… stop talking. I knew I was prolly different by then and he started saying things about my brother and I… lost it." Small expressional changes shift on his face. Fear, anger, and regret battled for real estate on his face that none of them one as it settled into his usual pinched expression. "He wouldn't stop and we got into a fight and he threated to tell the school about my brother being gay which was, for all he knew not true, but would have caused him a woooorld of problems. They put people like that in state hospitals and turn them into veggies. And I… Yelled at this kid with ever fiber in my being and I wanted him… to know what it felt like to hurt. I wanted him to know whathe'd be asking them to do to my brother. And … I blew uot the lights, and the glass, and this kid just started covulsing until I didn't know what'd happened and there was blood coming out of his ear. He stopped moving and I passed out." He could see it vividly ad while he had no expression on his face he was white as a sheet.

"I woke up two days later in teh hospital deaf in my left ear, tinnitus, unable to see anything for several more days. Kellan told me that rumor had it that the other kid was a mutant and caused all the damage to me… to the room. He wasn't like us though. His brother had to leave the school. I think… they moved. I asked if the kid was alright. I wanted him to understand I didn't want… that. They told me not to worry about what happened to people like that and I tried to tell em… it wasn't like that. But people hear what they wanna hear. As far as I can tell Ronny's dead or in a coma somewhere, but that kid ain't comin back." Kaleb's jaw tightened and he shook his head. "Ya know what's funny? For all the shit I get blamed for? That one was actually my fault and no one will hear it because that'd ruin the family name."

Maybe it wasn't meant to be broadcast, but the surface thoughts that come from Kaleb as he speaks his story seem to form into a small scene that plays before Jean's own eyes. If there were a cinema, Jean would have been there with a rather large caffeinated beverage, one leg kicked up and Kaleb next to her gesturing and narrating the scene. A double vision of sorts. She could see the scene play out, the face of the brother.. the offending kid..

Could one pull emotions from memory?

But as he finishes, she finally exhales, then shakes her head ever so slightly. "My parents took responsibility for the things that I've done. They spoke with me until I wasn't able to speak, I terrorized them, and you know? They still loved me until they can't. Until they had to be selfish and give me up." She nods faintly. "Yours is different. You were just.. never there." One eye twitches faintly, then she sighs. "It's alright to e upset about that, to feel a certain type of way in regards to your family, your parents. Everything."

"It's one thing to say it's not your fault, and to not worry about what happened to that boy. But it's another to sweep your concerns, your hopes and wishes, dreams even underneath the carpet as if you've never had a soul." She smiles sadly, then reaches out to try to grasp his shoulder if he let her. "But I told you about my parents because of one thing. It is /okay/ to be selfish. To be angry, sad, mad, glad about /yourself/ every once in a while. And it's okay to take care of yourself when you need to. You want to advocate for mutants and others? You want to be there for people, be strong for them, not do to them what your family has done to you? Then you have to clean up your own shit first before you handle everything else."

She gestures back to the medbay. "Not saying that it's all your fault. But think about what happened there and then what I've just told you."

Kaleb blinked and seemed conflicted by where she was going with this. The kid was wound tighter than a clock. He didn't pull away at being touched, he jsut had no innate communication through contact. he was listening though. "I'm entirely uncertan what you eman about that. If you mean Lorna striking me deaf and unconscious? I was never… mad at her for that. Not the first time she's done that to me." His eyes flinched and there was a short like a light trying to draw power flicking a bit back to on which is how his feelings tended to complete their circuit. There was something there. There was a stab of pain and then just anger that lit up his spine and he leaned forward slightly against the hand that was on her shoulder, "What are you getting at here?" There was that moment where it'd be easily imaginable picturing the old west where the townsfolk started closing windows and getting off the street slowly while Black Bart and Wyatt Earp were having a nice casual conversation in the middle of the street. At least he wasn't quick to take the offense but he was certainly shoring up for a strong defense. On the upshot? He was getting more information before confirming his own assumptions based o impulse.

Jean takes that little tidbit of information in stride, then shakes her head again. "Tell me, what do you think I'm getting at?" She moves her hand then, her eyes lowering just a touch, not that she was angry, but she was preparing to mount a defense if it came to that. Impromptu 'sessions' usually call for that, at least that's what she's read.

"When I first met you, all I saw is rage. Pure and unadulterated rage. Which is fine, given the situation. And now? Blank slate. Someone gets to you one on one to actually listen to you and you're closed tighter than a nun's thighs.."

Someone probably channeled Logan right there..

Kaleb cracked a bit and squint to her, "Yeah well being fucking kidnapped and getting trapped in your own body with your abilities stripped away and then having your DNA go haywire kinda changes how one engages the world." There was that to a fine point, but at least she got him to talk. She asked though and his jaw tightened and he took a couple deep breaths. "Growing up I tried like hell to meet every expectation of me, Ms. Grey. Sure I'm not warm and fuzzy like my brother. I get called the mean one for being blunt and honest. Fine. People want to call me a monster for it? Whatever. If that's what they need to rationalize things? They're going to and I can't stop that. I tried like hell when Lorna's upset which is, to a point always, fine, to help facilitate whatever I can in this miserable world to help her find her happiness. She wanted something? She got it. She wanted to go somewhere, we went. Hell I disinvited an entire restaurant of people she didn't have to feel self conscious because I care about those things. She's torn up my apartment, gave me a seizure, and stabbed my best friend. This I forgave. I have never held this against her."

He had feelings. Three of them and they were fragile under the orderly and efficient layers of rage and distain for the outide world. "But coming onto me and me telling her no because neither of us are okay and then coming at me like I never defended her and I'm the one who hurt her when I'm the one that got duped up into all of this? That ain't okay. Yes, it's easy to say Kaleb used his knack, and Kaleb has no feelings, and Kaleb's awful. But I would never fucking hurt her for all the goddamned world but no matter what I do I am and forever will be the bad guy. I can't do that look, Ms. Grey and I'm tired of being told why didn't you do better? I did all I literally capable of doing to look after her to my own detriment and somehow it's my fault she came at me?"

His face was wet betraying him, and his shoulder slumped against Jean's hand and the proverbial gunslinger's weapon was tossed into the street. "No matter what I will ever give people they will only accept the worst image of me that they've decided on. I'm so tired of being the bad guy. Why can't no one ever just go 'thank you for having my back', or have even a modicum of faith in me? What do I have to do to be Kellan?" There was nothing in him that seemed to desire an answer or really discuss it past the rhetorical.

Taking a deep breath he started throwing dirt on his feelings to bury those too. "I just… want to know what those people did to me right now. This can't go happening to more people. There are kids who don't have a brother and well connected pals. I'm scared for fuckin all of us but I swear to you, I didn't try to hurt her."

"Touche'." Jean murmurs, but she doesn't go so far as to interrupt him further. She expected something less, not for him to draw out his entire emotions in one go. If one were to put cranes in the sky to use their hooks to dole out how he felt in that moment, Jean suspects that the sky would be blotted out, and filled with red.

But she was there, that hand squeezing and unwavering; the good books usually read that distance be maintained, that emotional connections are typically on-sided. Like trust, respect, physical contact warrants something deeper, more defined. But friend to a friend here, he was not paying for her time. She asked for this, so it was considered free.

The lean to allows her to push back a fraction, her fingers squeezing until she finally lets him go, her hands dropping into her lap to press against the other digit to steeple. There wasn't a smile, but her brows lowered in concentration and she sighs. At least now she knows what he thought she was getting at. "Her actions are her own." Jean finally states. Then scoots back enough to draw herself to a stand. "And so are yours. At what point, though.. are you going to stop and realize that what everyone else thinks of you, do not matter? That what you do for people, how you enable them, how you give all and all of yourself and realize and -vocalize- that this is you do not want.. just leaves you so drained and depleted and unknowing of who you are, are you going to say enough?" She shakes her head.

"You don't have to be kind and gentle as you say that your brother is. You can be the honest monster who doesn't show an inkling of his feelings. You can be the playboy who buys his friends and girlfriends and gives them whatever they need at the drop of the hat. Fine. But Kaleb. I'm going to say this to you because I like you. And one day? We could possibly be friends. I don't know. But you got to stop being a doormat and say no. What people want? It's not what they need. And this is affecting you to the point that I don't even think I could know who you truly are. Understand?"

Kaleb blinked and tracked Jean like a hawk slapped with ice water. It wasn't an adverse reaction but it was a rare thing to get such a candid and cutthroat reaction. She took the time to analyze it and he in turn gave her the courtesy to process this. Kaleb sat still and silent for a time. his eyes went from her to the door of the medbay after a while and eventually at the floor he was sitting on with the helmet in front of him. It wa a lot to process.

"Maybe that's a thing." He took another breath and said "Someone took me away from the city for a bit to heal up. I came back more and… less me. My strings are getting pulled and someone's going to get hurt if I do something and someone else is going to get hurt if I don't. But you're right. Right now I'm not good to anyone until I can get consistant and not let the sound of cop cars make me lose vision in my right eye from sudden onset migrane from everything being so ridiculously amplified. Still… I got to go to teh mountains to heal up a bit. I might just… do something." He furrowed his brow and looked up to Jean, "I'm really not good at not doing things. I like things nice. I wantthem fixed. It's not that simple."

"I think that's the problem with life, either way, Kaleb. No matter what you do, good or bad, someone is going to get hurt and there's nothing anyone can do about it." Her nose wrinkles a bit at that, then with a roll of her shoulders to work out a few kinks, she turns towards him. "Though, to the mountains, that's.. actually not a bad idea for someone like you." She admits. And it was then, she takes on the likeness of the Professor. A slow stalk upon the floor, both hands behind her back clasped within the other, in clear thinking mode. Instruction. "When you are there, are you meditating? I assume that you are. When you meditate, focus on one aspect of your power and try to learn more from it. Try to expand your mind and what you can do with it. Then expand more and turn it off. Treat your powers like breathing. Study every inch of breath, even if you are alone. Always remain aware of any nose, even those that come from yourself." She stops, then smiles. "Sing a song, even."

But then she turns to face him, gesturing around. "Remember what I said about this room as well, if you consider the mountains your peace, consider this place your chaos, and unleash hell. Maybe that's the only way you can right yourself." Then she shrugs. "Besides, you're rich. You don't -only- have to do something with your gifts, your fists, or your mouth. Go fix up someones house in Mutant town. Pay to have the streets paved if you can afford it. Send food. Fighting isn't the only way to operate. At least that's simple, right?"

Kaleb cracked a faint smile. "We've been working on a relief program for some of the people who had their things set on fire from the werewolf attacks. Actually." It was a faint but pleased hint of a grin. "Hey… Thanks for um… " His brow furrowed and he was phoenominally bad at this part. "For… this. I'll work on making sure the effort wasn't wasted." Return on investment? A guarantee on that was worth a bit. He nodded and asked, "Mind if I jsut… sort of sit here and think on that a bit?"

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