ArchivedLogs:A Little Cheer
|A Little Cheer|
A Saturday night in, deocrating the library for the holidays.
Xavier's librarian might hope the library is a quiet place to sit and study, but with a school full of teenagers that is not always the case. Nevertheless, it is certainly a treasure trove of knowledge, well-stocked with a wealth of books on its high shelves. Its reference section is vast, though its fiction is as well (much to the delight of many of its students.) The wide octagonal tables and smaller armchairs are often crowded with students, though the whispered conversations that often take place leave some doubt as to how much work is getting done at any given hour.
With the quarantine lifted, and the winter term starting in the next week, the need for cheer and festivities has apparently taken the librarian at Xavier's by storm. Earlier in the week, a small cardboard sign with a volunteer sheet had been placed on the main information desk, advertising a holiday decorating event in the library. This has served as both a warning that the library might be a bit louder than normal, and an invitation to come spread some cheer after the rough few weeks that the school has had.
Starting around noon, soft instrumental holiday music has been playing in the library - quiet enough to not be obnoxious, but loud enough that it provides a pleasant background soundtrack to the decorating at hand. In front of the information desk are several large boxes, apparently containing enough sparkly garland, greenery, LED candles, lights, and other such holiday detritus to swath the library in a multicultural winter storm. On the desk are several roughly drawn plans for just /where/ things will go, as well as supplies of non-damaging hanging implements for adding things to the walls and shelves.
Mallory herself is humming happily in time to the music, wearing an emerald green sweater dress that flares at her hips before ending with a hem just below the knee, modified to grant her long tail freedom of movement in the back. Long black hair is pulled back out of her face into a simple bun, held in place with a pair of wooden sticks ending in tiny golden bells that jingle quietly when she moves. She is presently working on setting up another of the tables in the entry way of the library, each one dedicated to a different culture or belief associated with the winter season. Her attention flicks between the student volunteers and the display of books and stories associated with the Yule and Winter Solstice celebration.
Up on a ladder, Faelan is carefully placing a non-marking sticky hanger up on the wall. He is dressed to assist, with more normally fitting khaki pants though they are decked out in pockets none-the-less, and a plain black tee-shirt only one size too big for him. He's used to the ladders now from all the climbing he's had to do on his duties, though he occasionally glances below him to make sure no one is coming too close to the thing. "Miss Winthrop, is this one supposed to be for the garland or the hanging greenery?" he calls down.
Ghost stumbles into the library, having volunteered previously in the week to help. Dressed in a gray tanktop, a pair of jeans, and completely barefoot, the purple teenager has her hair pulled back in the case of having to possibly climb walls. She walks over to Mallory, slightly grinning. "Hello Ms. Winthrop, I'm here to help. Could you tell me what you need me to do?". She then looks over to Faelan, waving, before looking back to Mallory, awaiting a response.
Kelly has taken on him the task of untangling the boxed up lights! Sitting in one of the corners where he can lay out the results... he's unfortunately become victim of his own making, and exists in a wrapped pile of flashing LEDs, his own vines becoming tangled and knotted into the green electric strands, and struggling for the life of him to figure out where 'out' and 'neat might be able to cross paths here. He's in his usual sweats and modified T-shirt attire, and like Ghost and Mallory, has opted to go without shoes for mutation's sake. "I hope it's not for the lights... 'cause... I'll need a bit more time..." he confesses to Faelan embarrassed from his task, before he gives Ghost a welcoming "Howdy!" in bright southern tones.
Sophie actually /isn't/ here for decorating - or at least, it isn't why she showed up. The brightly-colored girl, dressed today in a pink sequined skirt, galaxy-printed leggings and a Dark Side of the Moon tee, is hauling a small stack of books along with a pink binder and her usual flower-print tote bag, which she sets on a table as she enters the library. But when she sees that people are /decorating/, the scholastic accessories are pretty quickly forgotten as Sophie looks over at the group, trying and failing to stifle a grin, and just says, "Heyyy. That was today, wasn't it?"
Mallory glances up from the display she was working on when Faelan addresses her, dark eyes checking the location of the indicated hanging item, pondering before answering, "If I am not mistaken, that one was intended for one of the greenery swags. Although, if you think the garlands would go better there, feel free to mix it up a bit." She smiles cheerily and offers a shrug, the little bells in her hair jingling, "There was a plan, but I am rather in favor of just decorating as everyone sees fit at this point. Within reason, that is." When Ghost approaches, she offers a smile, "Hello, Ms. Shafir. Thank you so much for coming - it is a bit of a free-for-all at this point. If you see anywhere that you feel needs more decorations, you can see if there are some in the boxes you feel will fit. I only ask that you leave the information desk undecorated - I'll be doing that myself later." As she speaks, she offers a gesture towards the boxes, although Kelly's struggles catches her attention, and she stiffles a potentially unprofessional grin, though her even tone and concerned voice help to hide the smile, "Oh, dear, Mr. Walsh, are you doing alright over there? Do you need some assistance?" When Sophie enters, Mallory looks a bit sheepishly surprised by the books, and nods slowly, "Yes, we are doing the decorating out in the main area today, but if you are looking to study, the back room is nice and quiet - I made certain the music was soft enough to not disturb anyone who needed to use that room." Setting the last few books onto the Winter Solstice table, she surveys the area for how things are progressing, before turning her attention to Sophie again, "Although, if you'd like, you are welcome to join in on the decorating. I won't stop you, though, if you have more academic goals to pursue."
"I'll just grab whatever will balance it out. It's kinda hard to see how it looks from here," Faelan replies as he makes his way down to the safety of ground level. Offering a wave to everyone now that he doesn't have the risk of falling to near certain harm, he heads over to Kelly. "If you need help let us know okay? We can get you out of there in a jiffy... but I think I'll go with the greenery for now." He offers a smile then pops over to the pile to grab one. "I can go set up the other study rooms after I hang this one up, I think we left them open, but the lights were all off to save power."
Ghost nods to Mallory, and also returns a wave to Kelly. "Alright then.". Noticing Kelly tied up, she also offers to help. "Did you get tangled? Heh, I can help if you need.". She goes to grab some more lights, and looks up around for where to put them, before spotting Sophie, looking over to her and waving.
"No no, I got it!" The boy insists, Kelly using all the natural determination afforded him by the same male cultural imperative to not use instructions or ask for directions. The offered hands compiled just throw his blush deeper and deeper, but he keeps a smile. The flowers on his head are easily twice as thick and twice as many as there were when he first started the school, and that move slightly on their own in healthy pink, now that more normal food portions are available again. "Ms. Winthrop, Mr. Carter... how come all these holidays are happening all at once, anyway?" he asks, motioning a light entangled hand towards the table with the Solstice books. But that throws him off balance, his vines (which move mostly on their own when he's not paying attention to them) wind some more lights in and tighten them, and unlike the Weebles of old, Kelly does in fact wobble AND fall down. "Ok... maybe I need to reconsider... that help thing."
Sophie shakes her head hurriedly. "Oh no no, it's okay, music and stuff is fine. I just meant I was thinking about coming by and helping but-- with everything all y'know... the way it's been lately." She frowns, shaking her head softly. "I kinda lost track of what day it was and when everything was happening." There's another brief shake of her head as she returns Ghost's wave, adding one to Faelan and a slightly more blush-y wave to Kelly. Her books and bag are, at the moment, all but forgotten on the table as she meanders towards the group, looking around the library as well, arms folded behind her back. "My roommate can just get a little crazy sometimes, so I needed somewhere else to hang out."
Mallory takes a step back to examine where Faelan was hanging the decorations, nodding in agreement, "Greenery will go well up there, I think. Maybe we can add some lights later on, if we think it needs it, but start with greenery." She nods to Ghost, and indicates the boxes filled with a rainbow of lights, as well as some that are single color or even with cheery little snow flake shaped bulbs over the LEDs - others have little tags on them that say they are 'flicker' or 'dancing lights' with little programmable boxes on the end of the strands. Sophie gets a cheery smile, which fades faintly at the mention of the trouble that has plagued the school and surrounding area, "Ah, yes, that is, at least partially, why I wanted to get things decorated. I figure a little bit of a distraction might be nice, and possibly help get things moving forward again." A guilty smile as she glances at the decorations, "And I admit, I may have already bought the decorations before all of this started, in anticipation of getting to finally have a library and classroom to decorate. Bit silly, but there it is." There's a grimace as Kelly tumbles over, and Mallory makes her way over quickly, crouching down to make sure he is alright and to start untangling the lights where possible.
"Well, it depends, really. The change of seasons has been a major even to people throughout history - it's a turning point, associated with rebirth and a host of other things. Christmas, the theory is, falls into line with a similar date because of similar themes and wanting to incorporate the indigenous festivities into the newer religious festivals. Hanukkah's date changes, because it follows a lunisolar calendar, so this year it started on November 27th, but it can start a bit later than that. Other ones also fall into the similar time frame based on the culture of origin for them - many of them get highlighted /because/ of the proximity to Christmas celebrations, I suppose," the librarian rattles on in response to the question, continuing to assist in getting Kelly untangled if he allows. She offers an apologetic smile to those still listening, "Apologies - I tend to get started on a topic and just keep going. There will actually be a table with a few books on the interrelations of the different celebrations and history of it, but I haven't gotten all of those set up yet, though."
Ghost grabs a bit of the regular rainbow lights, and then looks for an empty wall. "Are these supposed to go somewhere specific?". She says to Mallory, before listening to her speech about the religions. "The best thing about Chanukah is all the fried food. My favorite part of it, at least.". She approaches a wall, poking it with her foot. "Would up here work, perhaps?".
Faelan sets the greenery back down to help the others extricate Kelly, "At least the wires aren't sentient. I don't think anyone can animate strings of lights." Nodding at Sophie's words, he seems sympathetic. "No worries, I had roomed with Bobby for a few months. He liked to put snow in my chair on occasion. So I used to hide his things. It can be hard rooming with people with extreme personalities." He blinks a few times at Mallory's explanation though, and offers a little smile. "Well, I guess they can count that as a learning experience then."
Fishing the floral mutant from the tangle will take a little bit more work than your average clumsy country boy, but he does his best to help until he manages to shuffle free. The whole time he's doing his /best/ not to let his vines scratch anyone in the process, but there are disadvantages to being covered in the little razor sharp thorns, especially when they've gotten so knotted up in the wires themselves. "Thanks guys." He says very sheepishly when he finally manages to step out of it, pride and social self-image bruised, but not quite broken. "That's... a lot of an answer." He admits to Mallory, "But I asked the question, Mr. Carter, so I think it's on me." Ghost however is given a sympathetic grin. "I hope you have better luck of it than I just had." Though roommate concerns offer his own musings: "I never really had a roommate before, so... I hope it isn't too bad. I hope it isn't quite as bad as snow in your chair, though..."
Sophie actually does listen attentively through Mallory's explanation! Though she may not seem horribly /interested/, she does at least listen. And then her attention is turned to Kelly, watching him finally manage to get untangled from the lights, and hiding a grin behind one hand. When he mentions roommates himself, though, she tilts her head curiously. "Who is your roommate, anyway? I never did get a chance to find out before."
"No trouble. I managed to get garland somehow tangled on my horns when I was initially unpacking some of the boxes. Holiday decorations seem intent on being sparkly tangle-traps this year," Mallory grins slightly, carefully winding the lights up into a neat bundle as she finishes extricating Kelly from the tangle of lights, only a few shallow scratches on her hands to show for the efforts. "I apologize for the overlong explanation, really. It, I suppose, comes with the territory - I read a great deal, and on occasion I go a bit overboard on answering questions. Short of it is, there isn't really a single answer to the /why/. Again - apologies. If you actually want a more in depth answer, I can point you to the books - it is honestly more interesting than it sounds at first." Shaking her head - causing the little jingle bells to chime merrily - and offering a smile as she winds the last of the lights up into a neat little bundle for hanging later. "And there isn't really a rhyme or reason to the decorations at this point, Ms. Shafir. But - if you think they would go well there - by all means, please, decorate away," she smiles cheerily. The talk of room mates gets a shrug, and a faintly bewildered look, "I can't say I have had issues with room mates in the past, otherwise I'd offer suggestions. Admittedly, I have not /had/ a normal room mate in my life, so there is that." Her nose crinkles at the thought of snow being left around, but refrains from commenting on the pranking and retaliation.
Picking back up the greenery, Faelan goes back to the ladder work. "I'm just glad we have more people helping for this holiday. We did most of it ourselves the last time around." Climbing up, he hooks the decoration up to the hanger, gives it a little tug to make sure its okay. "On the other hand, climbing all the ladders is probably good exercise. But I think I'm content having less exercise this time around."
Ghost nods to Mallory, before turning to Kelly. "I think I'll be fine, as long as they don't get tangled around me as I put them up.". She approaches a box of stickable hooks, placing the lights down to put these up first. Instead of going for a ladder, she simply leaps straight onto the wall, holding a hook, before sticking it to the wall. While it'll probably take longer than using a ladder, Ghost seems to be enjoying doing this. She then leaps back down to grab another hook. "I don't have a roommate at the moment, so I can't really comment."
"Uhm, well, they put me in with Shane. Who's your roommate?" Kelly says a bit sheepishly, dusting himself off and stepping away from the demonic snow-flake lights, opting instead to pick through the box of knick-knacks and shelf sitters. Things much less likely to need an organized rescue attempt upon a botched operation. "I think it's kinda neat. Down where I'm from, the only thing we decorate for is Christmas... like... all Santa all the time. So it's kinda cool to learn about other holidays. And I've been gettin' kinda... well, bored since I don't need to keep doin' garden duty every day. It was a lot of work but... at least it helped me keep my mind offa, well, a lot of bad things lately."
Sophie is apparently enjoying herself more just watching the decorating happen than participating herself, but she does occasionally point to a spot that could use some extra lighting or something else pretty. Supervising! "Good luck with that," is her reply, upon hearing who Kelly is roomed with, though she does /try/ not to let her tone sound too sour. "My roommate's Kisha, if you've met her. She's not... /that/ bad, but sometimes she can be mean. I don't know if it's on purpose." She frowns a bit, then shakes her head. "She's mostly okay but she never sleeps, which is kind of funny since I tend to sleep a /lot/. I guess it makes up for her.. not. Like, she literally never sleeps I guess because of her mutation."
Mallory sets the strands of lights back on the information desk, scanning the progress on transforming the library into a technicolor winter wonderland, nodding happily at the scene. "Oh, yes, it certainly is going much faster this time around. Quite a good chance it will get done this evening, with just a few minor things to wrap up tomorrow," she agrees with Faelan, an apologetic grimace at his having to deal with the ladders so much. An eyebrow quirks slightly as Ghost mounts the wall without much issue, and she watches carefully as the student goes about hanging the lights, her tone light but edged with concern, "Do be careful, please." Having extricated Kelly from the lights, and checked on everything else, she returns to setting up another little round table of books - this one concerning various traditions of 'Santa Claus' from around the world, complete with little tagboard cutouts of several of them. "Where I'm from, Father Christmas was not always the focal point of decorations - usually there were plenty of lights, candles, wreaths, and trees. And Christmas crackers with little toys and such in them," she says with a happy smile, offering a shrug. The apparent disapproval of room mates brings back a teacherly look to her face, and she nods, "You do realize that if you have trouble or concern over your room mates, you can come talk to any of the teachers. We are here for you. Just so you are aware."
"We left a couple boxes in the back. I should probably go get them if we're going to be getting all this extra help." Coming back down, Faelan glances about. "If anyone uses this ladder, just remember that you need to hit the little buttons on the side to adjust height and lock it properly." Brushing off his hands, he glances at the boxes currently out, and nods his head. "Back in a bit. Don't get hurt in the meanwhile." Offering a smile he heads back to the storage areas.
Ghost is still putting up hooks, one at a time, as she laughs when she hears the other's roommates. "Oh gosh, I'm sorry for you, Kelly. Really am. From what I know Kisha's not too bad though, just strange. But Shane, oh gosh. Almost wrote an article on him but the rest of the club wouldn't let me.". She leaps off the wall, grabbing another hook, before leaping back up. "It was a shame too, had quite the scoop.".
THAT of course just makes the plump little flower boy whimper in place. "He hasn't been... soooo bad." Kelly says, shrinking back and biting his lips. But clearly some of the others concerns were shared. "The one I really feel bad for though is Dorian. Sounds like he really /needs/ a room mate, and they ain't given him one. Half tempted to ask for a transfer if that's allowed, but... don't wanna make anyone angry." He starts to arrange a few simple fake candles around on some of the end tables, putting some small gold bells around their bases. "If you put the toys in the crackers... wont they melt when you cook them? And... wont you break them when you eat 'em?" he asks Mallory misunderstanding. "Yikes, I can sleep through anything, but I'd feel odd sleepin' in a room where someone else /doesn't/ sleep. Like... what if I snore?! They'd have to hear that all night." And of course, Kelly /does/ snore, not that he'd know it.
"Well, the worst they can do is say no," Sophie offers to Kelly, helpfully. "But they might want you to stay with Shane so you can learn how to like, get along or something." There's a little shrug there along with a hopeful little smile, but then the girl glances up at a nearby clock and suddenly looks surprised. "Oh, crap, I should really get going-- I guess I let myself get distracted too much, but I have a thing to do for class and..." She shakes her head, rushing over to the table to gather her things back up. "I'll see you at dinner maybe, sorry to run off like this!"
Mallory nods to Faelan as he heads for the storage room, "Thank you, Mr. Carter. There should only be another box or so back there - not much more, I think." There's a quiet chuckle at Kelly's response to the crackers, and she offers a smile, "Oh, no. Crackers aren't actually a food item, so much. It's sort of a British tradition - party favors, little carboard tubes with shiny paper wrapped around them, that usually have silly little paper hats, and toys in them. Usually open them over Christmas dinner, and then get to wear the ridiculous little paper crowns the rest of the meal." She smiles happily at the recollection, gesturing a bit to describe the crackers she speaks of, "I may see if I can get a package or two of them in time for the holidays. They're silly, but it is good fun." Leaning against the information desk, Mallory listens to the room woes, and nods slowly, "I believe I know who Mr. Siccavil's faculty adviser is. I will speak with him about the room situation and see if there is something that can be done to make things a bit easier on him. Thank you, Mr. Walsh, for letting me know about this." She turns her attention to Ghost, and with a small frown, shakes her head, "It is likely good you did not write that article, Ms. Shafir. Spreading rumors about fellow students is unkind at best, especially when attempting to use the school paper as a platform to do so. Scoop or not, writing a story /about/ someone without their approval is generally frowned upon. You may not know all of the facts about someone else's situation or experiences, and to write such a piece is irresponsible journalism." When Sophie takes her leave, Mallory nods and smiles, offering a polite wave to the exiting student, "Thank you for your help, Ms. MacLachlan. Have a good evening."
Having finished putting hooks up, Ghost is now hanging the lights through the wall hooks, slowly and carefully as to not fall. She sort of grumpily smirks when Mallory scolds her. "Well, it works for the tabloids.". She then pauses, adding to that. "But, you're right, Ms. Winthrop. It was rude and it was for the best that it wasn't published. Next time, I'll ask permission first. They'll probably decline it anyways, so, eh, I don't think there'll be any gossip stories in the paper anytime soon.". Ghost then turns to Kelly. "I'd be more worried for the sleeper myself. If someone doesn't sleep, they'd probably make noise and wake you in the night, so, eh. They should just pair the insomniacs up or something.".
As Kelly finishes the little candle displays, he hears his stomach rumble rather loudly. Odds are others could hear it, too. Biting the bottom of his lip, he nods and says knowingly to Mallory: "I need to go do something. I think it's about done, right?" and excuses himself to the door. "Like I said, though, I can sleep through /anything./ Happens when you're house is near a firing range." He jokes before slipping out to find food.
Mallory narrows her eyes slightly, at the tabloid comment, and shakes her head, "I rather hope you are aspiring to a higher standard of journalism than the gossip rags that will publish any tripe that crosses their desk, regardless of sources or actual facts." Her gaze slides up to the clock on the wall, and she nods, "Alright. It's just about dinner time, and I need to go make certain that Mr. Carter is aware of the time. And not caught under boxes." There is a kind smile to both Ghost and Kelly, and Mallory glances around at the decorations, "Thank you both so much for your time and effort, it is greatly appreciated. Have a lovely evening, and I will see you around campus." With that, the librarian heads towards the small storage area near her office, once again humming along with the cheery 'Carol of the Bells' now playing overhead.