Teacher's Pet

Summary:
October 30, 2014: Storm and Colossus meet for the first time in this version of Earth.

Xavier's Institute - New York City

Xavier's Institute grounds are located on 1407 Graymalkin Lane in Westchester
County between Graymalkin Lane itself and Breakstone Lake (30 miles outside
of NYC itself). A large portion of this is acres upon acres of woodland
forest. To the farthest eastern portion of the Institute's grounds there is a
stretch of low foothils.
Upon entering the Institute grounds immediately past the heavy gated entrance
one finds themselves on a carefully paved road that splices in two
directions, west and east.

The west leads to the School for Higher Learning where gifted youngsters are
educated and taught to use their unique talents. Here almost year around
children and teachers are housed.

To the east miles away lies Xavier's Mansion where Professor Xavier himself
and some faculty members of the school live. These "special" individuals are
those aware of Xavier's more clandestine operations, the adminstration and
training of the X-Men.
Beyond the neatly walled mansion's yard in those foothills is an obscure
landing strip that leads to a hangar complex and a subtly hidden facility. A
facility that houses underground sublevels, a danger room, Cerebro and the
training halls of one of the most advanced mutant fighting teams in the
world.

An underground monorail connects the School for Higher Learning with the
Charles Xavier's Mansion and the X-Men's Hidden Complex. Security is tight in
this region, by means of limited magical warding, advanced future tech
security systems and telepathic sweeps. Tread carefully.


Characters

NPCs

  • Students

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


Storm loves this time of year. Mostly because the kids get excited about it and she loves seeing the children so eager and full of fun. She's gotten out the large boxes of decorations from storage and is decorating the main communal areas of the mansion, getting the students to help her. Though she's in a good mood, only those that know her well would know it. Her smile is, as always, barely there as the weather witch keeps her emotions under control lest her mood affect the weather.

Day one in the mansion and Piotr is already making friends. Currently in his armoured form he sits next to one of the shier girls in the group as she arranges magnetic words on his arm from the magnetic poetry box. The little girl's nose wrinkles and she shakes her head, "It doesn't rhyme," she says disapprovingly.

"Devotchka," he says gently. "Not all poems rhyme." There's a flicker of a smile that he shoots her as his head drops to watch what she's written. "And it's quite lovely. Maybe you should spend your energy putting in helping the others decorate?"

Ororo still isn't certain about this Piotr person. Yes, he's Illyana's brother, but wasn't he supposed to be part of the Brotherhood? Still, Rogue was with the Brotherhood before she joined the X'ers and she trusts the southern belle as much as she does any of the other X-Men. She is handing wads of cotton batting to some of the students that can fly, getting them to make it look like spiderwebs in the high up corners.

The little girl rearranges the words again, flipping them into a different order and thereby creating a new poem. Piotr shoots her a small smile and a shrug of his shoulders. "And now it's something entirely different," he emphasizes with an arch of his very steely eyebrows.

The child giggles. Piotr shrugs.

With another smile, the girl treads off to grab some of the gauzy spiderwebs.

And with his friend gone, he returns to his usual form causing the magnets to fall to the floor. With a flicker of a smile, he bends down and begins to pick up each of the words and return them to their metal tin home.

Storm comes over to approach the man. "It's Piotr, isn't it? Eto priyatno vstretit'sya s vami." She holds out her hand, her Russian impeccable though her accent isn't quite right. It has a thickness to it, just like her English. "You have spoken with the Professor?"

There's a small nod at the question. "It is. Piotr Rasputin," he offers gently. "And it's nice to meet you too, Ororo," he says in very American English — no trace of an accent on this one. He accepts the hand and shakes it firmly. "I'm sure you know this already, but I am Illyana's brother." From another dimension. The question about the professor warrants another nod, "Yes. I did. He invited me to stay here on a probationary basis. Nothing permanent in place as of yet." He shoots her a lopsided grin. "The children seem to be enjoying the decorating."

Ororo arches a single snow white brow at the lack of accent. She doesn't have all the details about Piotr from the Professor, but she did get told that this one was a dimensional hopper. "If you would like to help me out as my TA until you are more established, it might be a good way to get you more familiar with the students and facaulty here."

A grin edges Piotr's lips at the offer. "What do you teach? The world is rather different here compared to my own." The possibility that Storm teaches something different here when compared to his own world exists. "But, assuming I can actually be of assistance," he nods. "Id 'like that very much."

However the Storm was like from this Piotr's reality, this Storm is extremely placcid. She doesn't really smile much, her words border on monotone, she shows little in the way of outward emotion. "History and Languages. By being my assistant, you'd be able to learn about our dimension's history and how it differs from your own."

"Useful," Piotr observes with a whisper. "Then certainly if you could use the help. But please," he holds up a hand, "don't create a make-work project just because I need something to do." His lips curve into a tight smile, "I can always find other things to busy myself with. I may be a painter, but I have other talents. I can be handy when needed. I'm sure there's plenty that needs upkeep and repairs."

Piotr actually gets a glimmer of a smile when he talks about make-work projects. "You will find that I never ask people to do things unless I am sincere in my wish for them to be done. I do not believe in make-work projects. I offered for the exact reasons I explained, to assist you to learn about our world while getting to know more about us and if you like it here with us. Perhaps you could lead an art class once you are more comfortable with us. I would not expect you to teach here when you hardly know us."

Some more children come by and Ororo takes things out of the decoration box for them to find homes for. "How much did you know about the Institute from your home dimension?" Her subtle way of asking if the Institute was just a school of if the X-Men were part of his world.

There's a flicker of a smile and a nod. "I just wouldn't want to help you if you didn't need the help," Piotr states with a shrug of his shoulders. The information about the institute causes his smile to falter as his hands tuck into his pockets. "I… taught art. When it still had classes." His eyebrows draw together. "We… ran into some trouble. In my world, the school fell." The frown at the words is thinly veiled by a semi-forced smile.

"We defended it as best we could but — " he forces another tight-lipped smile, this time it never meets his eyes, but he turns back to the boxes of decorations. "I didn't think I'd see it again."

Reaching out, 'Ro rests a hand on Piotr's arm. "I know that all of us would have fought our hardest for this school. I am sorry to hear about your loss. I am also pleased that you can have this place back in your life. I am certain that if you wish to teach again, it will not take you long to establish yourself here."

Noting that he seems to want to change the subject, Storm looks in the quickly emptying box of decorations. "Ah, one last job that seems perfectly suited to one of your attributes. That cauldron is what we use to fill with candy for anyone that actually comes this far for trick or treating. However, that cauldron is actually a cast iron one. An antique, so the Professor tells me, from Salem itself. Would you be so kind as to take it to the front door?"

There's a faint nod at the the condolences. Piotr's eyes droop a stitch as he pats the hand on his arm. "Thank you. We tried." He nods at the assertion. "I just need to feel like myself again, and then maybe — " maybe he'll teach.

The decorations merit an easier, less put-on smile, though and have Piotr reaching for the cauldron. "This," he grins, "is perfect." He carefully lifts up the cauldron — there's no question it's heavy, but even in his non-armoured form, he's very strong. "It's refreshing to see a bit of normalcy." It's his first taste of it for a long stretch.

Now that the Hallow'een decoration box is empty, Storm looks around at the students. Some are quite young, most are in their pre-teens or early teens. "I do believe there is some cookies and cocoa in the kitchen for any that wish it," she says. She doesn't even get to finish her sentence before there is a cheer and they are racing to see what was baked for them. Ororo's smile is mostly seen by the crinkling of the corners of her eyes. "We try to give the students a sense of a normal life when we can. Just having talents outside the ken of normal can make life tumultuous. We want them to realize that it doesn't have to always be like that. Would you like to join me for some cookies and cocoa?"

Once the cauldron has been well positioned to Piotr's liking, which does, in fact, take several adjustments to get it just -so-, the large Russian follows Ororo to the kitchen, "Of course. Small pleasures in life. Cocoa and cookies," he grins. "Tell me,how long have you been with the school?" Pause. "And what should I call you? Should I call you Ororo? I don't… actually know what anyone would like to be called." There's a pause. "Although I doubt I could call Illyana anything but Yana or Kitty anything but Katya. Even if they asked me to do otherwise."

The kitchen is full of students now, all getting mugs of cocoa from the kitchen matron. The bamfs are also using their big, puppy-dog eyes to get cookies for themselves, though the cocoa isn't nearly boozy enough for their liking. "It will be seven years in March. The Professor thought I would be useful in helping with a mission and… Being worshipped as a Goddess is not nearly as fulfilling as people seem to assume." She gets herself a mug, filling it from the pot on the stove with the ladle. "Please, call me Ororo. Only the students call me Miss Munroe." Her interest is peaked by Piotr's comment. "You know Catherine then?"

"Katya you mean? Er. Kitty?" Piotr asks as his fingers curl around a mug that he then fills with cocoa from the stove. His fingers whiten as they tighten around the mug. "Uh. Yes. Katya and I grew up together. In my world." His eyes shift back towards the children. "We were good friends," suddenly the cocoa in his hands has become incredibly interesting. "Regardless, there are many people I knew. It's strange to think of them not knowing me. Or potentially not knowing me, I suppose."

Storm listens and nods. "I apologize. I have a bad habit of using ones proper name instead of nicknames. Call me old fashioned." She notices the intent stare into the mug of cocoa. "I should probably inform you that our Catherine is… involved. I am sorry if you hoped to… possibly rekindle your friendship with her." She takes a long, slow sip of her cocoa, watching Piotr over the rim of her mug. "I know very little of our world's version of you, other then that he was close with Magneto. I have heard rumours, but I refuse to believe something without hard evidence to back it. Assumptions cause trouble."

Storm listens and nods. "I apologize. I have a bad habit of using ones proper name instead of nicknames. Call me old fashioned." She notices the intent stare into the mug of cocoa. "I should probably inform you that our Catherine is… involved. I am sorry if you hoped to… possibly rekindle your friendship with her." She takes a long, slow sip of her cocoa, watching Piotr over the rim of her mug. "I know very little of our world's version of you, other then that he was close with Magneto. I have heard rumours, but I refuse to believe something without hard evidence to back it. Assumptions cause trouble."

"I've heard your world's version of me called a terrorist," Piotr muses. "And it would seem my presence seems to put some on edge. At least a little." He shoots her a tight-smile. He nods at the notion of Kitty's involvement, "Indeed. I hadn't… " his eyes lid. And then more to the point, he shakes his head, "Please don't say anything. Not to her or Yana. The past is the past. Even if it only lives in my memory, it's still long gone." He doesn't say much more on that matter. Although his eyebrows arch upwards, "Do you mean had and Magneto were… involved? Or do you mean with the Brotherhood? Because I did hear that."

Storm finally smiles. It's a warm smile, understanding and soft. Outside, the clouds clear a little, allowing the stars to be seen. "I would never dream of saying anything. I would not have said as much as I had if not for the fact I felt I must to prevent you from being hurt." Her smile fades to its usual state of neutrality. "I do not know about the love lives of those in the Brotherhood, nor do I care to. I know that our Piotr was in the Brotherhood. Other then that, I could not say."

There's a faint nod at Storm's words and Piotr brings his mug of cocoa to his lips. "Thank you. I.. I feel like I'm saying that a lot these days." His lips hitch up higher on one side into a lopsided grin. "But I wasn't holding out hope. Not really." His eyebrows draw together. "Well. If you hear anything, it'd be useful to know what here-Piotr's life was like. If only so I can negotiate it better." He shoots her another tight smile. "So weird. I feel like I'm almost trying on someone else's life. Almost. I'm still me. Some of the players are the same, but how they relate to one another is entirely different."

In spite of herself, Ororo finds that curiosity is getting the better of her. "Did you know me in your world? Was I a teacher here still?" She doesn't bother asking about what she really wants to know, because really, that would just be too painful, to know that your other self was better at something that you never learned to master.

The question merits a large toothy grin, "I did know you. You were a teacher. But not languages or history." Piotr actually chuckles, "Science. Physics to be exact." His blue eyes narrow at her and he shoots her another smile, "But you seem a bit different from the you I knew. Er. Know. Know." He clears his throat.

Storm looks rather shocked. "Science? Physics? Me? I suppose that makes some sense, considering weather patterns, but … Really?" It's so rare for Storm to show her feelings, that even the students drinking their cocoa notice, wondering what this new guys said to Miss Munroe to get her to look like that. Maybe he asked her out. Gee, if that's the case, they better say their good-byes to this guy now. Ororo ignores the students, having to ask the question that burns. "Different how? Did she get control of her emotions finally?"

Piotr chuckles. "It's why I asked you what you taught. I'd be completely useless in a physics class. The only reason I passed is because I looked off my classmates' notes." He chuckles again and shakes his head. He arches an eyebrow at the students gazes, but refocuses his attention on Ororo at her next questions. "Control?" he considers. "I don't think control is exactly the right word. And that's not the difference that I see. She had a peace about things. Not exactly positive all the time either. And I wouldn't call it control. Fatalistic maybe."

"I try to maintain a peace about myself, but I must admit that it would be nice to laugh or cry without worrying about ruining the weather for everyone else." She tilts her head to one side, looking at Piotr. "I taught you? You don't look that much younger then myself. Certainly not young enough to be one of my students. I suppose I was older in your world as well?"

"You were older than you are here," Piotr confirms. "Which, maybe you'll manage to maintain a sense of peace or control as you age." He shoots her a more encouraging smile this time. "And you did teach me. I was an awful student. I must emphasize that point. My failings in physics had nothing to do with you. I'm pretty sure I mostly sketched in my notebook." He shrugs.

Ororo chuckles. "I don't think anyone has ever told me before that I do not seem peaceful. I guess my older counterpart must have it mastered to an art form. That is very good to know." She dips her head in a slight bow.

"Well, that is why you became an art teacher, was it not?"

"There were moments I envied your counterpart. Her ability to keep going, that inner strength, I can't say I've managed to find it. Not yet, anyways," Piotr shoots her a toothy grin. He nods at the question. "It is. And an artist. Sketching. Painting. Sculpting. I've tried every medium and loved them all. Writing," he waves a hand at the last one, his written works weren't up to the level of his paintings, sketches, and sculptures. "I like visual mediums. And I think art is important. Even if others don't agree with me."

"Well, I for one, think art is very important. Art is an expression of self. It is how we get in touch with who we are." Storm starts to walk again, out of the kitchen and back into the main room where she sits down on the couch. She doesn't even check if Colossus is joining her, as if knowing that he will. A bit of her time as a Goddess has left its mark on her by giving her more then a shred of arrogance."

Colossus does, indeed, follow. His steps are weighty as he pads after her, and just a hint of a smile edges his lips upwards. "I agree with you. Obviously. Otherwise I doubt I'd do what I do." A dimple craters into his cheek. "I think beauty is the reason why so many do what they do. And preserving it is imperative to connecting people to their humanity." His chin drops to his chest sheepishly. "I get excited about it."

"Getting excited about something that you love is nothing to ever be ashamed of. Passion is something that… I do apologize. A person who is unable to permit herself even the smallest emotion really has no right to speak of passion."

"I don't know," Piotr offers as his eyes nearly dance with excitement, "passion doesn't always have to be wholly emotive, does it? Maybe it's something deeper than that." He shrugs. "But then what do I know?" He shoots her a flash of white teeth. "I just love what I do. And just because you can't get excited about it doesn't mean you don't have passion." He shrugs. "I don't think, anyways."

Sipping at her cocoa, Storm nods slowly. Her blue eyes twinkle with a mirth that is only barely percetable unless you look for it. "You make a very good point. I sometimes feel that by withholding the outward appearance of strong emotions, that I have learned to feel more strongly. I do not often smile, but that does not mean the smile is not there in my heart all the same." She ponders for a moment. "I hope you are not allergic to plants. I hold my classes in the greenhouse. Gardening is my passion, as painting seems to be yours. It also makes the class always feel like it is out of doors."

"No allergies that I know of," Colossus replies easily as he blows on his cocoa. "And I should enjoy sitting in the garden. Plants are something I haven't had much contact with in some time," there's a gentleness in his tone. "It makes sense to me that you'd feel emotions so strongly. I think keeping things inside can make them burn brighter." His smile turns lopsided, "Like when you have responsibilities and bottle anger or sadness to protect someone else. You feel it more than if you managed to release it." He emits a soft sigh. "I don't think many conceal happiness or joy, but if they did, I imagine it'd be much the same…"


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