<XS> Teachers' Lounge - B1
Running a school for mutant teenagers just taking control of their powers is not an easy job, and the teachers at Xavier's deserve a place to come and relax. This lounge is their place to come and de-stress, and it does not skimp for relaxation. The room is elegant and luxurious, plush couches making up the seating in the lounge and a glossy glassy bar wrapping around one wall, well-stocked with alcohol (and perpetually fresh-brewed coffee, for those so inclined. A large-screen high-def television hangs on one wall, stocked with about as many movies and games as the childrens' rec room upstairs. High bookshelves hold a wealth of books. The fridge here is always well stocked, and the cook is always willing to make deliveries down to this level. Far in the back, a hot tub is submerged into the floor, for still more unwinding.
It's been one of those days. Weeks. Months. Years? There is a certain oppressive stress that is weighing down on the school in recent times that seems to be pushing plenty of people on edge. Lots of teacher discussions about this student, or that student. Lots of arguing over this policy or that policy. Who violated the rules? Who didn't? What are the rules anyway? That's the sort of talk that has been pushed back in forth in whispers in various claustrophobic corners of the X-Manse.
All that sort of talk is weighing on the mind of one mutant in particular, Scott Summers, who has almost predictably immersed himself deeply in fat dossiers of facts and bios rather than engaging in the endless chatter. That is his comfort zone - the lines of text are his messiah. He is currently reviewing one such set of dossiers on one of the tables set out in the Teacher's Lounge, his brow bunched behind his visor.
The door of the lounge opens, and Jax brings with him the sharp tang of chlorine and his usual level of /bounce/, a default energy that is only growing as the days grow longer. Spring and summer are good for solarpowered people. He's eye-catchingly bright, typical for him in very purple corduroys, a black fishnet shirt with a shimmery-silvery sleeveless top over it, glittering purple eyeshadow, bright purple stars on his nails against a backdrop of black polish. His eyepatch has a bright star on it, too. "Mornin', Professor," is a cheery chirrup and in /appearance/, at least, the illusionist looks bright. Bright colours, bright smile, bright cheer. There are faint traces of wet at the tips of his blue hair, where a few stray locks were not properly tucked under his swim cap, and he skirts around straight for the fridge near the bar to get himself nothing more exciting than a glass of cranberry juice.
Scott looks up from his paper stack and drops one of the folders back to the table that he was perusing. When he looks at somebody, it's always sort of a flat look. One wonders what sort of colors he sees when he looks at Jackson. "Good morning, Jax. Listen - have you got a moment? I've been meaning for a while to touch base."
Jackson gulps down his entire tall class of cranberry juice in a loooong thirsty swig -- the photokinetic burns sugar like a /hummingbird/, this is nothing unusual for him -- and refills it full before putting the juice away and slipping back around the bar. He takes up a perch on an arm of a couch adjacent to Scott's, sipping at his second glass less rapidly. "Yessir," he says, and it's just as warm as before if just a hair more subdued, "'course. Sorry, I know things've been real hectic." His is still sort of bouncy even as he sits on the couch-arm, one hand drumming fingers restlessly against his knee, legs swinging to thump the heels of his chunky black-and-silver sneakers against the side of the couch.
"Don't apologize - we're all stretched pretty thin here, I know how it is." Scott swallows and leans back into his chair, running his hand back into his tousle of hair thoughtfully. He was always so deliberate, and he tried to pick and choose his words carefully. Scott was always a fan of precision. "Jax, I just want to know where you're at right now, head-wise. Are you okay? Can I help you at all? Do you even /want/ to talk about all of the various issues that have been cropping up?"
"Oh -- that." Jackson's nose wrinkles, and he drops his gaze, single eye fixing on his glass. His hand lifts to rub at the back of his neck, and his teeth wiggle at one lip ring. "Head-wise, I --" His mouth hooks upwards, smile returning quick and easy -- if kind of crooked. "Stayin' busy," is the answer he eventually gives to this, and though his tone is light and almost flip his advisor would be familiar with the thoughtfulness the glittery illusionist tends to hide under a veneer of cheer and bright colour. It shows in small hints, the stilling of his swinging legs, the pause before he speaks, the faint tightening of his fingers around the glass. He lifts his head to toss bright hair back from his eye. "I mean, it sometimes kinda feels like so long as I /stay/ busy I don't got /time/ to fall apart, you know?" He gestures towards Scott's pile of dossiers. "Better to be productive than to sit and brood." It takes a pause before he answers, almost reluctantly -- asking for help has /never/ been something he's good at -- "... Guess I'd be kinda a fool if I said I couldn't use some advice, though."
Cyclops listens thoughtfully. One thing they both agree on is that keeping busy has its advantages. In fact, the two of them were very similar in the ways that counted, despite their contrasting appearances and styles. That was part of the reason Cyclops had always been such an advocate for, and supportive of, Jackson's tenure with Xavier's and eventual inculcation into the ranks of the X-Men.
He tapped his lip a couple of times with his index finger, a very small gesture. His gestures were always so small. He leeeaned forward, and clasped both of his hands together in front of him. This was often an indicator he was getting ready to drop hella shit on someone. "Jax - I'm of the belief that you are more than capable of judging your own aptitudes at this point. If you think you an handle it on your own, I won't say another word, and I'll stand right there behind you when you talk to Charles about the administrative decision they recently passed onto you, like I know you're going to." Scott pauses briefly, his brow knitting. "If you look at yourself though, and you feel some doubts about whether you can deliver on steering these kids right - I think you should consider stepping back. The students deserve the best we can give them. Personally - I believe in you. But if you don't, how are you going to teach these kids to do it for themselves?"
Jackson's smile curls upward and this time it's more genuine, warm and quick and soon gone. "Yeah, I was gonna head over to talk to him right about now." But then he quiets. His brow furrows, thoughtfully, and he lifts his glass to take a long slow sip. "It's -- been hard," he says eventually, careful and quiet. "The thing with my kids, with the twins an' Spence, it really threw me, you know?" Another sip of juice. Longer, deliberately pausing for thought. "I don't think they're right, though. It's been a rough year. But I think I can help my kids. Ivan actually /talks/ to me. Dai /relaxes/, opens up, he don't do that never. Shelby --" His teeth drag against his lip. "She's got a /lot/ of baggage but I think someone a little less conventional might be /better/ for her. He lowers the juice to his lap. "I know I don't hardly look like a proper authority figure but I --" Here he smiles again, a little crooked once more. "-- Well, I'm an illusionist. I learned a long while back looks don't mean a whole lot."
Scott smiles a little back at Jax. There's the sort of smile that years worth of connection and meaningful exposure to one another will change, a warm one that loves, on Scott's face. He always struggled to express those sorts of things. He still does - even now, it's just a tiny smile. But it's what he's got. "Then I trust that instinct. If you think they need you, be there for them. Even if it's not in something as an Advisor position - and I think there's a good chance, with a line like that, you might just keep it - you need to stick with these students, Jax. We can't ever give up on them. That said - if you want me to take partial responsibilities for any one of them, let me know if you think I can help."
Jackson's smile warms at Scott, both for the other man's smile and for his answer. "I think," Jackson says, after a moment of consideration, "that what I need is to stay busy. I'm gonna talk to the Professor." There are many professors, sure, but this one is /The/ Professor. "And then I think I'm gonna take a couple days' worth of sunlight and blow up some robot dinosaurs in the DR. You down? Say, just before lunch?"
Scott glances at his giant-ass stack of homework and dossiers. His lip juts out a little, and then he looks back at Jackson. "Yeah - first to three is Danger Champ of the Week."
Jackson grins, bright, and gulps down the rest of his juice, getting up to quickly wash the glass out and put it away. "Hey, the days are gettin' longer," which means Jax's abilities are getting /stronger/, "you are /so/ on." He dries his hands against his corduroys, and stops as he circles back towards the exit to lean down and give Scott a quick squeeze of hug. "But first I got some kids to reclaim."