ArchivedLogs:A Time for Family

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A Time for Family
Dramatis Personae

Xavier, Chelsea Garcia-Cage, Luke Cage, Taylor


A family is made


<XS> Headmaster's Office - B1

Quietly elegant, the headmaster's office is as old-fashioned as the headmaster himself. The large wooden desk is the centerpiece of the room, the guest's chair a high-backed dark wood one. The walls are painted in rich dark colours, a sole impressionist painting hanging on the wall. The hardwood floors are polished, the floor kept carefully neat and tidy, the room perpetually immaculately organized.

It was quite a conversation when Luke finally got around to returning the school's phone calls. It took confirming his old girlfriend's identity, and a number of other pertinent details to make sure he didn't think he was being conned into driving way out of town to get nabbed or something. Finally he relented, but didn't yet tell anyone where he was going, except for leaving the address with Janice. He didn't call his mom, or Alison, or even Trib. He just hopped in the Hummer and took off on the late Monday afternoon.

Soon, Luke was baffled to find himself pulling into the Xavier mansion driveway, utterly perplexed at the existence of the place, not to mention the kids staying over winter break, running around the grounds in the unseasonably warm weather. He pulled into a parking space and when he stepped out he was immediately greeted by an octopus boy. The boy's jet black skin and copious amount of tentacles actually give Luke (crusader for mutant rights) a moment of pause. << What the... >> Is the beginning of Luke's thought before he gets himself under control. His mouth only hangs for a second before he straightens up and offers the kid his hand. << It takes all kinds man, pull yourself together. >>

"Hey buddy," Luke says to the boy. "Um, I'm Luke. I'm supposed to meet with a... Charles Xavier?"

Taylor frowns slightly at the thoughts of the man exiting the ridiculously big vehicle, and then makes a mental one-eighty when he sees who it is. "Oh wow, I thought they were kidding when they said Luke Cage was coming..." Taylor stands gaping as well for a moment, then shakes his hand with a grippy tentacle, and says, "Yeah yeah, come with me. I'm supposed to take you to his office." Luke nods as the boy leads the way, happily answering a few of Taylor's fan-related questions, and even signs the back of one his business cards when the boy asks, smiling the whole time.

When Taylor leaves him outside the office, Luke hesitates just a moment before knocking on the door, his thoughts of suddenly being a dad fighting with the incredulous notion that no one knows about a school for mutants in Westchester. Finally, just as he reaches for the door, it opens, and he sees Chelsea backing away from the door. He nods to her, a friendly but confused smile on his face, before stepping inside, and asking, "Uh, Charles Xavier, I'm guessing?"

"Thank you for your help, Taylor. -- Mr. Cage." Xavier's voice is deep and warm. His chair rolls smoothly out from around behind the desk, and he gestures to an empty chair in invitation. "I am. Thank you for coming, I understand that this is -- rather large news for you. Please, sit. Would you care for anything to drink, perhaps?" As he invites the big man into his room, his eyes shift between Luke and Chelsea, a quiet mental reassurance offered to the girl alone: << Whatever happens, you will have a home here. >> "Mr. Cage, Chelsea. Chelsea -- your father."

Luke stands in the doorway for a long moment before he finally swallows hard and steps all the way in to take a chair. He watches as Chelsea curls up in the other chair, both of them completely at a loss for how to proceed. << Holy shit is this real... >> Cage thinks and then nods at Xavier. "Call me 'Luke', Mr. Xavier. So I um," Luke flounders, and when he's offered a drink << beer >> pops into his head first, then << whiskey >> but he says, "Uh, water would be great, thanks. {I'm sorry,}" he adds in Spanish. "I'm just a little... out of sorts. Look, I don't mean to be an ass or anything," Luke winces as he curses himself inwardly for cursing out loud with the headmaster of a school. "I mean, how do you know..." << She's mine. Are you kidding asshole, look at her /eyes/. She has Monica's eyes, and nose, and Jesus Christ, her whole goddamn face >>

Chelsea remains curled up in her seat, watching Luke silently, fear of rejection riding high in her mind, edging out her ability to comment without bursting into tears. Determined to not cry, she clenches her jaw and looks to Charles for help.

"Water, certainly." Though Xavier simply rolls his way back to his desk rather than go /get/ any water. "Understandable. News like this creates enormous impact -- especially without forewarning. My hope, though, is that the impact will be positive. For both of you. Chelsea came to us in need of a home. It was unexpected to find a family as well." At the question of how he knows, his brows raise, slightly. He studies Cage's face for a moment; studies Chelsea's. Somewhat pointedly. "Her mother had your photograph. Monica Garcia. Her hope was to introduce you some day, though -- unfortunately, life does not always work according to plans."

<< One breath and then another, >> his voice sounds just as warm in Chelsea's mind. << You are not alone, in this. And for all the shock, your father is a decent man. >>

Luke looks somewhat chagrined as he shifts from disbelief to just confusion. Mention of Monica brings to his mind a montage of happy, if sometimes rocky memories, and their teary separation when he was sent away to prison. Then the pieces of his memory finally start to fit together. Neither Luke nor Monica was the other's 'first', but they had been dating for two years before Luke's gang got the bright idea to rob a bank. "{I'm so sorry, Chelsea,}" Luke says, then switching to English. "Your mom never told me about you. I would have come looking for you when I got out, but after she-" << died >> he thinks and then rubs his face before pulling his chair over, closer to Chelsea's. "I didn't even know you were out there. But I know now. And I can be your dad, if you want one."

Chelsea swallows hard, but starts to calm down with Xavier's comforting thoughts. She looks down, also aware of what Luke was about to say without being a mindreader. She bites her lip and looks back up at him after his little speech though. "Can we- Can we try it? I still wanna go to school here. After the break. They've been super nice." She looks at Charles again, and then back to Luke.

The door opens -- quietly, Savita slipping inside just long enough to set down a tray with two glasses of water and two cupcakes. Chai, dusted with cocoa and cinnamon and powdered sugar. She leaves again, just as quietly as she came.

Xavier is quiet, too, as Luke speaks. There's a very faint crinkling at the corners of his eyes, expression warming though his mouth doesn't quite smile. "We deal with many students whose abilities make most regular schools inaccessible to them. I will be glad to give you a tour of the school, when you are ready. But for now -- I am sure you two have much to discuss. I can have a room prepared for you in our guest wing. Provide you with some time to talk, and figure out your next steps from here. And be assured that this Institute is here for the both of you, through all of this."

"Yeah, of course we can try it," Luke says with a surprisingly gentle smile. He reaches out to squeezes the girl's hand and gives her a nod. He shifts to take his glass of water and drinks half of it before setting it back down. "Thank you. Very much, Mr. Xavier, sir. I'm really glad you were able to figure this out. There's nothing more important than family, to me." He looks at Chelsea again for a moment, and then back to Charles. "I'm sure we'll have a lot to talk about."