Realities Collide

Summary:
January 30, 2015 : Nate discusses Rose with Jean, Scott pays a visit and drops a bombshell after Nate drops a name.

Xavier's Institute

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Mood Music:
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It has been a day since Rose and Nate arrived to Xavier’s School. Nate had a chance to briefly talk with Gambit and Rogue, but most of his time has been spent in Rose’s room. He has not slept in while and it is starting to show.
But sleep will have to wait. His arrival caused some concerns he needs to address. And he has news about mutant issues which (particularly after talking to Rogue) he believes the X-Men should really know about. A brief telepathic contact has brought him to an office where Jean is waiting. He doesn’t bother to knock at the door physically, Jean knows he is there and is waiting. “Hello,” he greets, “good to see you again. Uh… is Professor Xavier around? Some of what I have to say would concern him too.”

It was actually her office. Having retired her duties as a doctor to the capable hands of the nurses that Xavier employed while she was on personal sabbatical allowed her to take up her true passion. Counseling students. Finding the way the pieces fit, since she watched them fall away. Mostly. Bad song reference. Moving on.
The door was left ajar by a random student who dropped off a pack of cookies they made in Home Economics, the first bite was lovely and packed full of peanut butter flavoring, but with the recent meals she's been having since she became state side caused her to rethink the notion of packing on the pounds by way of delicious treats.
As Nate enters, she glances up from her paperwork, leaning back a little to rock in her chair as she gives a swift shake of her head.
"No. The Professor is indisposed at the moment. Please. Have a seat." She gestures towards the chair in front of her large oaken desk, pen twiddled between fingers and soon bitten in between lips and chewed upon. "How is Rose recovering?"

“Very quickly, as usual, but she is restless,” replies Nate, flopping down on the chair. “She rather hates everything remotely connected to labs, hospitals or surgery. Got some bad experiences a few years ago.” Bad enough for a flashback and trying to stab Jean, so the redhead probably already figured that out. “And not so long ago. Stormwatch put those bombs inside her. Apparently they are down to blackmailing superhumans into working for them or making them explode.”

Jean could understand that. She's been in her fair share of boxes and tight spaces with no room to breathe..
"Stormwatch." Jean says, writing this all down, all the while glancing up from her paper to offer up a little bit of smile in reassurance, even though the conversation remained serious. "So this was done without her consent? She is very lucky that they have yet to find out that she is with us and off their grid, so to speak." The pen was soon replaced and chewed upon, Jean giving that cap pure hell with her bites. That's what Bic's were for mainly, to gnaw upon while doing nothing.
It was soon tossed upon the desk as she rests an elbow upon the surface, "Tell me about this person that she says is free. Cabal? Calabim? Something?"

“Caliban?” Nate shakes his head. “I know nothing about him, but Rose was able to find information about him online, so there must be something there. I’ll ask her. And yes, of course it was made without her consent. It happened when she arrived here, she ended up in the hands of a black ops group. I thought they had recruited her, but actually she had no choice.” His fault too, for not asking the details. But his relationship with Rose includes leaving her to run her own business, which usually involve shady and bloody mercenary stuff.

When they first arrived, she didn't ask questions. Only wanting to help the woman out who was in dire straits, not prying or probing the woman nor man any further than only gleaming what they offered. Though they brought problems with them, there was always a time and a place to ask such questions. And now that the two were alone? Now was the time.
"I see. I'll ask her when she's all recovered for more information." She was sure the young man wanted to be present.
"We'll get to that later, of course. But, since you are in the compound as our esteemed guests, there are a few questions that need answering." This was all said with a smile, her gaze slowly becoming vacant, mind split in two as she begins the line of questioning. "Who are you two and where did you come from? How did you know to find us when we have no records of ever meeting you or you two being here?"
Her eyes glance towards the door, a deep breath taken, and soon those lovely greens settle upon Nate, refocusing.

“That is… hmm,” the big question, and the awkward one. Nate notices someone just at the door, but not who he is. He has yet to tag names to the mental signatures he can feel around the mansion. Too many ‘noisy’ kids, too. But this is an adult, with a well-structured mind, vaguely familiar.
“Well, we come from a parallel Earth, we knew the X-Men there… some of them.” He goes on, “my mutant abilities allow me to travel through parallel worlds, just not at whim; I’ll need to find fracture points to leave this one. Rose came here through an artifact owned by some super-powered criminal. Stormwatch has the device.”

As he draws near to the door, Scott begins to catch glimpses of the conversation within. His footsteps slow a moment or two, before a solid rapping comes to the door.

Her eyes move towards the door again, her eyes squinting as she could feel that prescense linger near. "A parallel world?" She nearly, almost nearly wanted to ask what it was like. Was she there, how was her counter part, how did the other counter parts seem and if there were any similarities, thankfully, the knock upon the door was issued and she leans back into her chair again to relax.
"Come in, Scott." She calls out, taking up that pen again, rapidly twittling it within her fingers as she waits for the man to enter.
"This device, would you trust that organization with it? Do you see that it could become a problem in the future?"

Nate turns, blinking. Of course that mind was Scott. He nods at the older man and sighs, leaning back on his seat and running a hand through his hair. “Parallel Earth. You should be familiar with the concept, right? I mean, Magik is with the Red Team.” And there is also Calvin in the X-Men, although Nate doesn’t know him yet.

Once invited, Scott pulls the door open and steps inside. A brief glance is given to Nate, before his eyes fall upon Jean. He pauses for a moment or two, chest rising and falling as if he might be nervous about something. "Jean," he greets her, before closing the door behind himself. "Hope I'm not intruding." He glances from Nate to Jean, an eyebrow hooking from beneath his glasses.

Jean could only nod at Nate's question. "I'm familiar of the concept." Though she shouldn't be. She didn't want to think about the power she's held so long ago, it brought an ache to her heart that was nearly visible upon her face as she sat there.
Once Scott enters, she was really happy to see him. The situation wasn't dire and no one carried bombs within their backs. Though with Nate around, she couldn't give him a hug nor question as to why he wasn't there when she finally came home. She really had a lot to talk about. She even bought him a gift! Which was left in his room, but..
"Hi Scott, no. No." She smiles warmly, gesturing towards the empty chair next to Nate. "Have a seat. Nate wanted to talk to us about something important."

Nate nods, "yes… I met a mutant woman called Mystique shortly after arriving to New York. I am sure you know her." He looks confirmation in the X-Men faces and then concinutes, "well, Mystique was regarded as a hero in my homeworld. I have seen in the networks here she is not. At least not by the human media. Regardless, she was trying to track the pieces and design of a restraining device got superpowered people, particularly mutants. Apparently some anti-mutant group was also involved. I have been investigating in this matter with her, and it checks out, I think she is right. And I know of these devices, I have seen them in use. Then, this morning Rogue mentioned there is a drug that dampens or neutralizes mutant powers. She is investigating this herself. Two new technologies to control mutant powers being developed at once seems too much of a coincidence."

Taking his seat, Scott answers Jean's smile with one of his own, but it was guarded. Complicated things recently. He then turns to look toward Nate, listening carefully. However, there's an odd look on his face, for he'd expected the guy to have the manners to at least introduce himself. He doesn't have anything particularly noteworthy to add to the conversation yet, though he does nod his head a couple of times. "Heard of it too," he answers regarding the drug, before leaning his body just a bit closer. "Nate…?" Yeah, he wasn't given the last name, and there's a bit of attitude behind the way he says it, as if expecting the next words out of the man's mouth to be his last name.

Jean cringes at the mention of Mystique. She's been a thorn in everyones side with her shady dealings. You really can't guess with that one. So she leaves it. "I do." The drug she wasn't familiar with, she's been out of the loop so long that it was all making her head spin.

The mention of the drug though, it has her thinking, leaning back in the chair to suffer in silence, her eyes drawn down to the top of her desk, finger tips lightly brushing against her lower lip.

As Scott speaks up, she remains in silence, looking to both of the men with a furrowed brow. She didn't think to ask for a last name, first names and.. the abundance of information was enough.
Nate tenses, looking at Scott warily. For a telepath, he is remarkably bad at keeping a poker face. He also expected to be recognized sooner or later. Some people say he looks more than his grandfather Christopher than his father, Scott, but the resemblance is still noticeable. "Nathaniel Grey, since you need to know."

"Huh." While Scott has certainly become familiar with concepts such as time travel and parallel worlds, he doesn't make the connection. Even with his knowledge of Rachel's existence, the dots don't click. "That's ironic." Finally, the man grins and offers Nate his hand. "Scott Summers."

Next, a sideward look is given to Jean. "Lot of unfamiliar faces popping up around here, lately." It wouldn't take a telepath to know that these arrivals have upset him; they have children to protect, and Nate + Rose * Logan = trouble? Then again, for a telepath, it wouldn't take much to know that their arrivals have him in a place beyond annoyed, and far past angry.

Nathaniel Grey? That caused her face to scrunch up. Apparently, she didn't get the connection either. The name was a bit common.. though..

Her hand lifts to cover her eyes for the briefest of moments, her bottom lip trembling briefly as her cheeks burn a deep red to nearly match and contend with the color of her hair. A deep breath was taken to calm herself, her eyes .. almost, almost red, glancing towards the both of them with a smile forced and put upon herself which soon fades with Scott's words.

"A lot?" Jean questions him now, sitting up in her chair. She looks rather uncomfortable, but that was quelled with a deep swallow and an inquiring look. "What do you mean a lot? Scott. We couldn't turn Rose and Nathaniel away. They needed our help. And still do."
The dots don't click? Nate looks at the extended hand in mild disbelief and then shakes it. "Nice to meetcha," he murmurs. The physical contact makes his empathic senses flare; Nate sense the anger and it confuses him.

Definitely there are things going on here he doesn't understand. Like Jean blushing now. He needs to stop assuming he knows these folks, seriously. "Eh? We thought you needed to know about Caliban and the devices. We can leave as soon as Rose gets medical clearance, no worries."

When Jean covers her face, Scott visibly relaxes and sits back into his chair. There may even be an expression of apology, but it's often difficult to place with his ever present glasses. "No, of course we couldn't," he answers, before turning to Nate. "We would never do something like that." His frame stiffens just so, and the apologetic tone of his voice firms up in a similar manner. "But it concerns me that you thought to come here." He glances back to Jean, eyebrow hooked. "Not too fond of this 'Logan' character, either. He says you invited him?"

Yeah, the whole mess seems to have put Scott on the warpath. At least he's sitting down, and at least he's not ripping any new ass holes yet.

The one thing that keeps him from going 'there' happens to be the comfortable way in which Nate speaks of these matters. He looks back to the man who sits next to him, and an ever growing curiosity finds itself upon his face.

Jean shakes her head towards Nate, her hand coming upright to stop his words even though they spill from his lips in consideration. "No. No. Please.." She lived to help people. Somewhere, if she felt it, she would have considered everyone in the building her wayward children. But she knew what line to cross, especially when it came to that.

As Scott reassures the man, she drops her hand upon the table, one brow lifted as she draws in a slight breath. Ah. Logan. That's what he meant by a lot. She'd only met him a bit ago.

"Logan? I.." How could she explain it. "I didn't invite him. He invited me out to a walk after meeting at the diner in Westchester. He dropped me off here and I asked that he returned at 8 to pick me up." That was it in her mind. Plus, to invite the valiant efforts of the college students to help clean up Westchester put the school in a brilliant light.

"He mentioned knowing Katherine. Does she not attest to his character?"

"I was an X-Man in the other worlds," explains Nate to Scott. "I hoped you had the medical facilities and a level of distrust in the government." The talk about Logan is not his business, although he notes this 'Logan' (likely Weapon X) seems to be a newcomer. That is a -major- divergence. Maybe he should say something. No. "Seems you have pending business. There is more I'd like to say, but those are not really X-Men matters. I'm going back to Rose's room," he stands up and heads out, but stops at the door, glancing back, "hmm… but before I go, have you heard about a guy called Cable and a telepathic redhead called Rachel?"

Kitty's on the list. Scott doesn't say that, and he doesn't even show any sign of acknowledgement about it, either, not at first. He seems to be growing ever more agitated, until Nate speaks. Scott turns to look at him, and for a few moments, the agitation remains… but soon enough, it all drains away. A fellow X-Man. He nods his head toward Nate, finally accepting the man's presence here, before turning to Jean.

"He asked about Professor Xavier." That confession seems to bother him, for some reason. "Kitty, yourself, Illyana and Calvin. I'm going to assume that one of them spilled those beans, but that still doesn't mean I like it."

That subject is laid to rest when Nate makes to excuse himself. He turns, then stands up, both for the sake of manners and perhaps to express an apologetic tone. "No, listen, you can stay. I'm… just trying to get to the bottom of to few things." He looks back to Jean, clarifying, "Which means I need to have a chat with Katherine."

He's about to beckon Nate back inside, when the final question is posed. Cable he'd met, but the introductions had been made as 'Nathaniel'. Rachel however, he couldn't possibly forget. Scott's mouth opens, but no words come out for a moment or two. "Rachel, yes." His voice cracks a bit. "I've… met Rachel."

"You were?" Jean's gaze softens just a little. Just a tiny bit. The further questions however? It left her confused. She was truly, truly gone for a while, those names were new to her. "Cable? I've heard that he sometimes linger.. here.."

The presses were soon stopped as she looks towards Scott. Katherine was on his list, sure. She's heard all that. But it was the reaction to Rachel's name that left her a little, just a tiny bit curious.

So she extends herself, untucking herself from that bubble of feels that she created, mingling and mixing in with the heightened emotions in the room, picking up curiosity, a little bit of agitation, irritation.. and wonder. Those feelings cause her to slowly stand from her chair, one hand bracing herself against the desk, her eyes shooting from one man to the next.

"Scott? Who's Rachel?"

Nate seems pleased to know Rachel is around. And Cable. A genuine smile showing briefly. "Great, thanks. See you later." He finally heads out, closing the door behind him. Now, who could know where Rachel or Cable are… he will have to ask around.

Nate is virtually forgotten now that Jean has posed the question. How could he possibly explain this? Scott had met Rachel shortly before his field trip was kidnapped, prompting the X-Man to go on a worldwide hunt that kept him away from the mansion. He could have contacted Jean to tell her about it… this is a global society after all, and he's got plenty of resources… he just wasn't sure what to say. With each passing day, it had become easier to simply avoid it. There were more important things, like locating those children.

Except he'd failed in that mission, and came home with his pride crushed.

Slowly, Scott looks back at Jean. Deer in headlights becomes agitation, which passes briefly before a long sigh brings apology to his face.

"Rachel is… Rachel Summers." He looks down for a moment, before lifting his face to look at Jean again. "She's our daughter, Jean."

Jean was expecting an answer, but she wasn't expecting /this/ answer. A part of her felt a little jealous, just a smidge. But even though through their shared connection she had no ties to Scott other than the team. But this bombshell? It takes her breath away, quite literally.

Her face remains plastered with that shock expression as she flops back into the chair, her hand still remaining upon the desk as she gulps two gasps of air, shifting within her place as her eyes begin to water. Tears fall but, they weren't sad. It was all shock, disbelief..

"What..?" No, there was no possible way that Scott would lie, he never does. He was a straight shooter, one of the most honest and admirable men that she's ever come across. And to lie about this? Would tarnish her vision of him forever.

She places a hand against her chest, then gestures towards him, unable to find the words to express how she felt. She wouldn't even cheat to let him in, another thing that was far from her mind.

"She.. is she healthy?" Nate said she had red hair. "She.. wa.. what's she like.." She's got family somewhere.. but.. wait a minute.. "But.. where? From where?"

Scott seems sad. Sad that Jean couldn't have learned the way he had. The thing is, he's a terrible liar, especially to his friends, and especially to Jean. He'd kept the secret for so long, hoping perhaps the two would run into each other in a similar fashion. Moving back from the door, he sits down heavily and leans upon one arm of the chair, as if he was tired.

The tear serves to brighten him. He can see it in her eyes, the same feeling he'd encountered when Rachel met him. "Well, it's probably not our future. Alternate timelines, quantum physics and all of that. But, in some plane of existence, in some future, that… we…. 'it' happens."

He smiles then, leaning forward and resting his forearms on the desk. "Healthy, yes," he answers brightly. "She's… bubbly. I think she gets that from you. Bit rough around the edges and spontaneous, which she probably gets from me."

Beat.

"… got from me. From us." With a screwy face, he leans back and chuckles. "It's a bit of a mind job."

She quickly wiped away at her face to try to process this information. She felt like Rachel was a baby then, a baby that was her own, that she missed the birth of. Like she was in a long sleep, to wake up alive. There were so, so many more questions she wanted to ask, and does! But answers, he had to say them first.. and hearing that she was healthy was all that matters.

And they shared traits. "Like the red hair.." She murmurs out, she just.. couldn't help it. Those tears were falling now, so happy. Her shaky hands draw upright to cup her nose and her mouth, fighting away the smile that draws upon her lips, hands soon wiping away at her face as her head nods almost eagerly.

"A total mind job. Oh my gosh.." She breathes out, sniffling. "I.. is she likes us? I mean.. you or me? You and me? How old is she? Did.. what did she say about us in the other place? I.. "

They grew up together, to know that /this/ was possible? Does it change anything? "Scott.. we have a baby girl.. a.. no.. they have a baby girl but.." She couldn't wrap her head around it. "..here.. is she ours here too? Does.. our future what.. oh we.. Ooh…" Yep. Try to decipher that one.

Scott finds himself conflicted being absolute joy and sadness. "I don't know," he admits openly, as soon as there's a break in her stammering. "The abducted students, I went after them. I haven't had any time… I'm not even sure if she's here. Perhaps, if Charles is willing, he could use Cerebro?"

Scott cuts himself off then. He shakes his head before reaching across the table, putting a hand out and taking one of hers. There's a pause; there's so much that he wants to say. Instead of all that though?

"Not much younger than us. Twenty something, early. Jean, you have to meet her."

Ah. It doesn't take a fool to see why Scott had left. She wasn't an idiot, she knew how prideful he was and how much he cared. It probably shattered him, and she wasn't there to help pick up the pieces. She just.. wasn't there. But she wasn't going to blame herself nor him for this, her expression now grown a little serious, even though her hands still shook and he grasped them, she gives a shake of her head. "I can use her, Scott. I'm here now. And I'll help."

Her fingers curl tightly around his own as Rachel becomes the focus again, the rush of adrenaline and thoughts of meeting Rachel draws a sweet smile and a tug of his hand to bring it closer, and clasp with the other. "Twenty?" It took her breath away.

"How.. did she grow up okay? What does.. show me what she looks like?" All he has to do is think.

For so many of her questions, Scott does not have the answer to. What he does do is remember. Jean can do the rest. He remembers seeing her on the front lawn, in that warm autumn day. He remembers the conversation, the warmth, the love.

Scott's hands grasp hers just a little bit tighter.

She was hoping to have those questions answered, even by the sound of her, Jean was already protective. He didn't have to speak to grant her permission, for she delves in to the thick of it, her eyes nearly fluttering as she takes in the sights, the sounds, the smells and emotion. She places herself there, a watchful entity, and it was enough to make her believe that she was really there to witness that union.

It was the squeeze of her hand that kept her here in the now, and as she pulls back she.. just didn't know what to do with herself.

"Scott.. she's beautiful.." She murmurs quietly, if his grip wasn't tight enough, hers would be. Just the feelings, even though they weren't hers, she wanted that future or.. now to happen so much that she nearly.. "I want to hold her."

A good squeeze is given. "Then let's find her," he answers. "Ask her about the world she came from. Maybe we can learn from some of our counterparts' mistakes." A rueful smirk is given, before the here and now draws him back.

"Jean, about Logan…"

Jean could only shake her head, and she regretted it the instant that she did it. "She can wait. She's a grown, beautiful girl.. but those children." She wanted to find them all really. "Let's find them first, okay? Set the wrong into the right. And then we can find our daughter."

Though now Logan comes into play, snapped from her little glow and reverie. She really didn't know much about the man, but he was nice.

"What about him?"

"It's unsettling that he's here," answers Scott. "In our secret place. I should find Kitty, her opinion… it's solid." The safety of the children they have here, ultimately, trumps all. "Then we can find our wayward students. Who knows." He grins while releasing her hand. "Maybe Rachel will turn up and offer some help."

She notes the worry, she doesn't dismiss it at all. Even the need to find Katherine. "I don't want to question you, or how you feel. Because I know it's right and valid.. but.." She frowns a little. "What about him bothers you so much? I just want to know without prying."

Once her hand is let go, she lets out a determined sigh, her head nodding as she leans a little to the side to reach and pull open her drawer, retrieving at least two kleenex's to dab a little at her cheeks. "I shouldn't get this excited about missing children but.." It was a poor joke. She couldn't help it, she /was/ excited. All because of Rachel.

"He's an asshole." That's one way of putting it. Then again, the same could be said of Scott himself. "And he was poking around the institute. Seemingly unannounced. Hank damn near clawed his face off."

If only Scott knew.

A sigh is released. "I know that I have a tendency to overreact about these things but, Jean, those kids are my number one priority. We've come a long way, but there are still dangers. HYDRA rolled up to our door step. We pushed them back. Now, they're after Lunair Weir. They want to weaponize her." By now, his brow is knit with worry. "How do we know this Logan character isn't some kind of spy?"

Jean jerks a little at the blunt observation. In fact, it makes her laugh a little but, he was serious. That laugh was abruptly cut off, the children were a number one priority and she agreed. But she wasn't aware of the fact that he poked around, she assumed that he came to the door and stood in the foyer.

"Ooh.." Yeah, she couldn't say much about that, only lean back into the chair as if she were listening to one of her students, weighing each word with a critical thought and mind.

"We don't." She answers truthfully. She wasn't going to put what she thought out there, she was going to let him say it. "Scott. When I returned I aligned myself with the blue team. Which means you're my leader, if you choose to accept this and return. Tell me."

She tightens her jaw just a little, she's been though enough and didn't want others to suffer the same fate. "What do you need me to do."

Its a heavy question. They all know how important it is to use their special abilities for the good.

For the greater good.

Scott pinches his temples, troubled. Invasive use of telepathy is among those dangerous things. A line not easily crossed. And yet…

"We can't risk the safety of our students." With thinly pressed lips, Scott adopts a long silence before speaking again.

"Make sure he means us no harm. Use any means necessary."

Jean knew that the offer was going to be on the table, one way or another. She was going to offer it herself but had to hear him say it. It was for the children. The children. The children. The safety of them, even the wee ones that have yet to grace this school with their presence.

"Alright." She couldn't feel bad about this, not one bit. Her mind was already working at the many ways she could come at him..

But.. there was a little hesitation in her eyes, the way her mouth opens to speak, but snaps shut as she abruptly stands, moving around the large, oaken desk to stop at the back of his chair, her hand lifting for but a moment to try to touch his shoulder but falling at her side.

She was hit hard today. And was filled with a bit of hope. Maybe…

"Scott?" A beat. "Are you staying?"

The decision was made. Logan could punch him again for it later, even though… God DAMN, that punch packed a wallop.

Heavier than this, however, is Jean's question. He doesn't make eye 'contact' for a while, mulling things over. His pride was both his strongest and weakest asset… he wanted to go away. To fix mistakes. But perhaps there were mistakes here that needed fixing.

He finally lifts his face, looking first at her hand, then toward her eyes. He should tell her how he feels, how beautiful her eyes were. Calvin had recommended it.

Instead?

"Yeah. I'm staying."


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