The Importance of Being Blue and Fuzzy

June, 1, 2014: Nancy and Hank meet up in the park to help give her some answers about her powers.

A park in Westchester County

A lovely little park with a coffee shop nearby in a nice neighborhood.



Mood Music:

Nancy O'Neal called her friend Doug, asking for more details about his doctor friend. When did he want to meet? How good was he? Would he be able to help her figure out more about her powers? Doug finally got fed up of the never-ending questions and gave Hank her phone number, telling him to call her, please, for the love of God.

Hank McCoy is rather a 'typical' genius-type in that social interactions actually take work and energy…work and energy that he could be using on experiments or studies. The begging, though, did the work and, after taking a minute or two, he braced himself to call the goth girl and invite her out to Salem to meet. A park is mentioned…one near a popular coffee shop. As promised, he isn't letting any secrets out.

Nancy O'Neal heads to Salem, looking a little out of place as she steps out of the cab. She pulls out a cello case from inside and then pays the cabby. She gets herself a coffee and with her cello in one hand and her coffee in the other, makes her way to the park. The slowness with which she walks implies this probably isn't a place she is familiar with, the young woman looking this way and that. She doesn't see anyone blue and furry, so does what she always does when she goes some place green. She takes out her cello, takes off her leather jacket, and begins to play.

Hank McCoy was running a little late due to transportation issues and mostly getting up the courage to go out there. He also made sure to gather some supplies…just in case. He brought his own coffee in a mason jar and is slowly sipping that as he makes his way through the park. He sort of forgot to give an exact spot…but the sound of the cello catches his attention. Remembering something that was said at the last meeting, he wends his way towards the music.

Even when he arrives, he hangs back, jacket on and hat shadowing his features, but a blue, clawed hand is still holding onto that mason jar. Others who have paused to listen to the music don't seem to notice him immediately.

As the music plays, the look on Nancy's face shows a completely different side of her. Gone is the snarky, sneering smirk she wears, replaced by a subtle smile of Mona Lisa proportions. Her eyes are closed and the music moves her as deeply as it does to some of the crowd that listen to her. The fact that she attends Juilliard is enough to testify about her talent. As the finishes the Prelude, she stops and opens her eyes slowly as if coming out of a dream. The small crowd applauds and she seems genuinely pleased, standing up and bowing graciously.

She looks among the crowd, missing Hank in her first pass of the crowd, but notices the blue hand on her second pass. She nods to him politely and sits back down on the bench she was at, starting to put away her instrument to let the people know that the free show is now over.

Hank McCoy is one of those who applauds, albeit carefully with the glass in hand. He also waits while the cello is put away and the crowd begins to disperse. Once enough of them are gone, he approaches the bench, "You found the park all right, I see. I'm sorry, I forgot to indicate an exact spot, but…" he nods then to the cello, "You're very good."

Nancy says, "If you had asked me a month ago, I would have said that that, and being a pain in the butt, were my only talents. Turns out I have one more." She closes the case with a click, picking up her coffee on the bench beside her. "I didn't know where you would be, so I figured if I played, you would find me. It worked." She pats the bench beside her. "Come on. I don't bite. And I promise even my words won't be biting today either." As she says that though, her smirk returns. The music had the power to soothe the savage breast, but without it, she starts to return to her usual self."

"You've only been able to do this a month ago? Or maybe you only met those with power then?" There's a moment's hesitation before he does move to sit next to her on the bench. As he gets into her aura, the blue, bestial appearance is gone and he looks pretty much like anyone else in a jacket and hat. The change still causes him a bit of giddiness but he's trying to stifle it as he sits.
"The biting is saved for when you're in bars or around more people?"

Nancy says, "Well, I know it's not likely, but it would seem that Dougie is the first powered person I ever met. Or maybe everyone else just had powers that turn on and off or something. I don't know. Maybe I did only start doing this last month. I was hoping you could tell me." She sips at her coffee. "I don't really like people much. The snarky comments keep people away. But, I need you and you don't like 'em, so I'll keep my smart ass comments to myself for the sake of getting the info I need."

Now-blue eyes look at the non-clawed, flesh-colored hand holding the mason jar for a moment before he looks up at Nancy, "It certainly can depend on who you've met. Many mutants have powers that can turn on or off and many don't have anything outward that might be noticed." There's a brief pause as he considers what might happen if she met someone like Kurt. Back to the conversation. "I don't know that I could tell you when your powers started…it's not really something we can count if it's not noticible. Some were born with it, some developed their powers at puberty. It really all depends, but I would guess that yours was probably latent for a while if you're just noticing things now. Or everyone else around you was." He lifts the coffee to his lips and revels in not having to drink around elongated canines and sharp teeth.

"People really aren't so bad. Some are, but for the most part, people can be pretty incredible."

Hank McCoy adds, "I do, however, appreciate you culling the snark."

Nancy says, "I wasn't born with it. The blood tests that Polyglobal did say that it started when I hit puberty. THat's when the X-Gene or whatever you want to call it, the thing that can be noticed in the blood, showed up." She takes a deep breath and sips at her coffee. "People are mostly bad, from what I've seen. Prejudice for just about everything under the sun. And most supers are worse. They think because they have powers they can just do whatever they want. Look at all that damage in the mall from earlier this week. You think any of the supers are helping to fix it? Hell, even I'm not. Guess that makes me a bit of a hypocrite." She watches Hank and smirks, shaking her head. "You like it, don't you? Being around me. Doug won't ever come this close to me.""

"Why did you get your blood taken by Polyglobal? I thought they were a pharmaceutical company?" That is rather odd. Hank tilts his head some before he comments, "Prejudice is due to fear. And people who have powers…sure, some abuse them and use them to try and dominate, but others want to use powers to help others. In regards to the mall situation, have you thought that maybe they're staying away due to that very prejudice? That if they offered to help, they'd be attacked?" He sets the jar down on the bench between them and then starts, "Imagine that you are you, dressed as you are," he gestures at her goth gear, "And you walked into an exclusive country club. You were there to visit…to help…you did nothing but walk in. But surely you can imagine the reactions, merely because of an appearance."

In regards to being near her, he looks down again briefly, "Some are able to deal with looking different better than I have." Even though his appearance is the most extreme that he's ever known.

Nancy says, "It started with my mom in college. She signed up for one of those human guinea pig deals. She got pregnant, and they offered to like triple the money they were giving her if she kept me. So, she did. They were concerned that the drug they were testing might cause birth defects. So, they wanted to test me after I was born, for years, to make sure there was no lasting effects of the drug. Then I got my X-Factor and they were all curious about that, but it didn't turn out to be anything. Another doc I met says that since my power only shows up when other powered people are around me, they might not have been able to figure it out." She shrugs, sipping at her coffee as she leans on the back of the bench with one elbow. "So, the very reason why I look like this, to keep people away, working too well if I wanted to help. Okay, you might have a point." She leans in and smiles, her eyes dancing with merriment. "Well, if it helps at all, yer kinda cute with all the fur. Yer like a giant blue teddy bear.""

Hank McCoy shrugs, "I'm just saying that when one looks different from the norm, the general population doesn't like it." The leaning in and smile as well as the comment causes him to clear his throat and push his glasses back up his nose, "Well, thank you, but…I'm not a teddy bear. It's not just the look…" but they don't need to go into that. "I find it odd that the company would still follow you, but that's your choice. You know, you can always tell them that you no longer want to participate. You're over 18."

Nancy says, "Actually, they cut mom and me off when I was 14, when I still wasn't showing any powers. Boom. Money gone. They haven't contacted me yet. I was thinking of calling them and taunting them with my powers, but then I figured… well, what do I owe them, really? I'm pretty sure the drugs messed up my mom's head. And if they really did make me like this, whose to say they won't use it to make more like me, a bunch of chemically born mutants. An army of supers at their beck and call." She laughs and shrugs a shoulder, finishing off her coffee. "Or maybe I'm getting paranoid like my mom. And fine. You're not a teddy bear." She's about to say more but shuts her mouth and closes her eyes tight, keeping her comments to herself as promised."

"So, all the more reason not to bother with them, if you ask me. If you're cut off, you owe no fealty to them." That said, Hank clears his throat, "Of course, if you wanted to donate a blood sample, I would certainly look into it and maybe see something in it…in your genetic structure, that is. I mean, if you already know you have the gene, then you already know that you're definied as a mutant…or 'homo superior' as some like to say."

Nancy O'Neal snorts and shakes her head. "Homo self-important is more like it. I'm sorry. You seem like a nice guy, but from what I've seen, most supers are pretty full of themselves. I don't see anything superior about that. So what. They got powers. It's not what you have, it's what you do with it." She leans back and raises both her hands. "Sorry, said I was gonna be nice. Don't need to hear my supers suck rant. And if you want my blood…. I don't want to make the same mistakes my mom made. That blood is still mine. Even if you take it outta me. I want it in writing that you ain't gonna use it to kill me or something stupid like that." She looks down at her boots sheepishly. "Okay, that sounded so much smarter in my head. Outloud, it sounded more like a whiny baby."

Hank McCoy looks up at Nancy as she rants about terminology and then a contract. Blue eyes blink a moment before he shifts in his seat and starts, "It's not about being better than anyone else. It's merely a term…not a way of thinking. I mean, for some, sure, they've adopted it as a way to think of themselves as 'better' than homo sapiens, but it really is just a scientific term to differentiate. Like the Neanderthal is different from Cro-Magnon who is different from Homo Erectus and Homo Sapiens. I suppose that a better term could have been chosen." He takes a moment before offering, "I'm sure I could write something up if you wanted. I certainly wouldn't use it…or anything to harm you."

Nancy says, "Okay, so semantics. Homo erectus stood straight. Homo sapiens was capable of logical thought. So now we have powers, but they are random amongst us. So why not Homo random or something like that?" She regards the blue eyes behind the glasses. "Or other people or yourself or anything stupid like that. That Illyana chick already said that there are plenty of people that would love to get their hands on me and use me as a weapon. And I know if you're that sort of person, that filling out a piece of paper won't be worth the weight of what it's written on. So… forget it. It's just me being dumb, I get it." She turns to look away, watching the people walking about in the park. Much nicer neighborhood, but the people are all doing the same things. Walking, talking, playing. She takes a deep breath and sighs it out, reaching in a pocket for a lollipop. She pulls out two and hands one to Hank. It's a rather large blue skull, wrapped up in cellophane and taped around the base. "So, where you wanna do this? I doubt you wanna poke me in the park. Looking like I do, we'd probably get carted off for shooting up drugs.""

"Well," Hank offers, "It's language consistency. Homo Sapiens and Homo Erectus come from the Latin and the etymology of 'superior' is also Latin, coming from the word 'super' meaning 'above'. 'Random' is actually from the Old French…and the thing is, it's not necessarily random. I mean it is, but it's also a genetic evolutions so the right mix of genetic material has to happen for the gene to actually develop. My parents don't have any powers…maybe my genetic mix was generations in the making." He takes a moment to switch discussions now.

"Well, yes…you could be used as a weapon, but really only for those mutants whose powers you can negate. Like mine. And maybe they could do something scientifically to enhance things…but part of what you have to deal with now is to stay away from those types." Easier said than done, perhaps. At the offered lollipop, he murmurs, "Thank you," but doesn't open it. "I give you my word that I won't use the blood sample that you give me against you. I would suggest, however, that you seek out training to try and learn how to control it. I don't know if it's something that you can turn on and off eventually…but it's worth exploring."

Nancy O'Neal listens to Hank, a bemused smile on her face. She pops her lolly into her mouth and leans with her head leaning on her palm, her elbow on the bench. Her eyes dance, her lips smirk, but she stays quiet. She nods her head then. "I have someone training me, but not in super power stuff. She says that my talent is just an added bonus and that people like Punisher and stuff don't need 'em. Still, yeah, I would like to know how to do things like shut it off. That's what I was hoping you could tell me. Cause then," she says as she starts to lean in closer with a playful smile, "I could see if your furry self blushes as easily as your pink self does."

"If you don't mind me asking, what -are- they training you in if not your powers?" Hank tilts his head and then adds, "I don't know that I'll be able to tell you how…that might be something you have to figure out for yourself. I might be able to tell you what your cells are doing…but not how to control it." When she leans in, he sort of leans back, his cheeks definitely turning a bit red. A hand lifts to push his glasses back up on his nose, "I…uh. Probably not. Animals don't blush."

Nancy O'Neal seems to rather enjoy the uncomfortable state she's putting the scientist in, pressing her advantage. "Well, you're not *all* animal in that state, are you? How will you know you don't blush unless you try?" She leans in, closer, closer. Her head tilts and her lips part and then suddenly she pulls back and sits on her side of the bench again, giggling. Her lolly is popped back in her mouth. "You're adorable when you're embarrassed, you know that?" She looks over at the park and shrugs her shoulders. "Guns, fighting, tactics. She says I can walk away at any time but… the money is good. I've been using it to make sure the rent is paid and the bills too. And fresh veg and fruit at home. Not that mom notices, but I'm trying."

"I wouldn't be too sure of that," Hank murmurs, knowing that he's going to have to go back to that soon enough. As she leans in closer and closer, he leans back before he finally puts a hand up, "Stop. Just, please stop." It's not said angrily, but's spoken in a quiet yet firm tone. "I get teased and strung along enough and yes, you're a very attractive young woman, but if this is all just for show or to get me worked up, it's not very appreciated. I may not be the flirty, most social of people, but I'm not unfeeling and I'm not a plaything."

Nancy O'Neal blinks at the response. She takes a moment to think about it and frowns. "Sorry. Guess my promise not to tease you wasn't very true. I didn't mean to. It just sorta happens without me even thinking it. But, for the record? No, I'm not just doing it for show. You really are cute. And I love it when you talk all sciencey. I can't understand half of what you're saying, but… I don't know, it's cute too." She crosses her heart. "Okay, this is me seriously trying to behave myself. Honest."

Hank McCoy still looks skeptical at Nancy's assurance, but he'll try to take her at face value. He'll try. "You do? Thank you, but…I might be a bit too old for you." Before they go too far though, Hank goes back to something they were discussing earlier, "I wouldn't need a vial of blood…just a little bit. Just enough for a couple of slides…like getting your finger pricked at the doctor."

Nancy says, "Oh? How old are you then? Cause you don't look that old. I don't see any grey hairs or wrinkles. No cane. Is it Depends then? Seriously though? Don't worry about it. Yer cute but… you live here and I live in slums. We have nothing in common and yeah, you're probably right. Our age difference would totally get in the way." She holds out a hand. "Go on. It's not like I haven't done this enough to be a pro at it. Hell, when I was a kid, you'd have thought I was a junkie with the tracks I had going on.""

Hank McCoy reaches over to retrieve a small medical kit from the belongings he brought with him and takes out an alcohol swab, lancet, and small glass tube. "It's just a finger-prick," and he opens the swab to clean off a finger of the offered hand. It really is quick and relatively painless as he collects those few drops of blood. It should be all he needs, really.

As he puts everything away, the glass tube going into another tube which has been pre-labeled with Nancy's name, he answers, "I'm twenty-eight, but…sometimes I think I might as well be fifty. It has nothing to do with location or lifestyle…it just…you could do so much better."

Nancy O'Neal watches the lancet prick her finger, not making any sign of it hurting. If anything, she seems saddened. Once the vial is taken away, she exchanges her lollipop for her finger, sucking the tip of it. Sanitary? Not in the least. "Don't worry about it. It's not like I'm looking for a boyfriend anyway. Who needs the hassle? They're always calling and wanting to know where you are, who you're with. And all they ever wanna do when you get together is bump uglies. Who has time for that?" She shifts in her seat, turning away defensively.

"You're studying music, right? How would you have time for one?" Hank offers, as if trying to reassure her or something. "Art is a harsh mistress. So is Science." He makes sure everything is put away and safe, "I wouldn't really know. I pretty much keep to myself. The last time I thought someone was interested in me, she turned out to be an android."

Nancy O'Neal stands up, grabbing her jacket. "Yeah, you're right. Between school, work and my trainer, who has time?" She shrugs on the leather jacket. "You should get out more. I'm pretty sure that not just androids would be interested in you. Like I said, you're cute when you talk all nerdy. You have my number?" Her attitude has certainly chilled down from earlier, her smile gone. "You'll call me if you find anything?"

"It's not that easy…looking like some blue Disney creature sort of causes a lot of staring and that's what I am when I'm not around you," Hank points out. "It…wouldn't be fair to you or to me either."

Nancy says, "And here you said you weren't a teddy bear. So… you're Stitch instead?" She's trying not to smile, but the image of Hank as Stitch seems to amuse her. "I wouldn't mind hanging out with you more if you just want to *not* be furry and stuff. You can listen to me practice. I'm not allowed to practice at home, so I usually go to parks like this one. Okay, not this one. A little too uptown, but… you ever go to Queens?""

Hank McCoy frowns some, "Stitch? What's that?" He may not be up on all the pop culture…when one spends almost all of their time working, movie-watching tends to suffer. "I would be honored to come listen to you practice. I know it was difficult for you to get up here today…can I at least get you a cab back home or something?"

Nancy O'Neal laughs now and shakes her head. It's hard to be mad at a guy this adorably nerdy. "I'll bring it over and we can watch it sometime." She picks up her cello case and shakes her head and starts to back away. "Don't worry about it. My trainer… she, we… sorta beat up drug dealers and steal their money. It gives me some extra green to use like coming up here to see you. And… oh, that lolli? Yeah, it's blue curacao. You drink, so it shouldn't be too annoying for ya, but thought I should warn ya."

Hank McCoy isn't blind to the fact that he may have hurt her so he nods, "All right, that sounds like a plan. Thank you…" but then he frowns at the mention of how she gets her spending cash. "Just…be careful…and blue curacao? Isn't that alcoholic? Are you even old enough to drink?"

Nancy says, "No, but my mom is. It was a way for me to make her booze go away faster. The cooking burns off the alcohol. We only get so much money a month, so if I make the candy when she isn't around, she can't drink as much that month. Besides, who needs to be old enough to drink? You never been to a frat party? None of them are legal either." She stops when she gets just to the edge of what seems to be her range, if Doug's little dancing at the ten foot mark can be trusted. "She's not gonna let me get killed. But… thanks.""

Ooh, right. He shouldn't have asked about that. "I see…and no, I never have been to a frat party. I was in my teens when I was in college…and too busy with my work." His early teens, that is. He would have been very obvious at a Frat party back then. Standing when she pauses at her range, "Well, good. Still. Be safe and…I look forward to that movie." He then waits for her to take those next few steps which will return him to his blue form. For now.

Nancy O'Neal raises a hand to wave goodbye awkwardly and then turns to walk away. She gets out her old flip phone and calls herself a cab. She continues to walk towards the coffee shop that she got off the cab that brought here. She sighs deeply and closes her eyes, thinking about Europe. Someday. Somehow.

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