ArchivedLogs:Of Tea and Tutelage (Or, How To Be a Person)

From X-Men: rEvolution
Of Tea and Tutelage (Or, How To Be a Person)
Dramatis Personae

Kavalam, Matt

2017-09-18


"It will probably be an exhausting process, at times, but you'll not need to go it alone."

Location

<XS> Administrative Offices - B1


This hallway is smaller than the main, the offices branching off of it modest and unassuming. Down here it is all business, teachers meeting for conferences or simply coming down to grade papers and get work done.

It's the end of the school day on the second Monday of classes, and the offices are practically empty. Matt has just made his way down here, his steps slow but steady, in a white dress shirt with thin green stripes and gray linen trousers, a matching jacket draped over his arm. Though still pale, he looks somewhat improved over the previous week--less dead now than just tired. Following him close is a Latina with long black hair and wearing a long, lacy black dress with frilly flared sleeves. "Have a seat, s'il te plait." He sets his attache case down and eases himself down into the chair behind the desk.

It's not long after the meeting begins that the door opens. It doesn't /exactly/ open quietly -- Kavalam is determined when he marches in, a resolved look on his face that he's been working up to for a few minutes now -- but nevertheless it may take a moment or two for anyone to /notice/ the opening. The teenager steels himself, focuses with a frown. "Excuse me but," he's leaning across the side of the desk to wave a hand right between Matt and the student as he manages to make himself noticeable, "but only this is /my/ meeting and you need to go."

Matt blink, shakes his head, and finally focuses on Kavalam with a start. "Osti de--" His eyes snap wide open. Then his hand comes up to his mouth. "Oh, dear! I--" He frowns down at his open laptop; /squints/ at the calendar. "--/do/ have you down for an appointment now and...your power functions even in your absence, doesn't it?" /His/ powers now stretch out and dampen Kavalam's. "My apologies to you /both/, I ought to have considered that this might happen. Sophia, this definitely is supposed to be Kavalam's appointment. This is my oversight, but would you mind terribly coming by tomorrow? Lunch or after classes?"

Sophia yelps and scoots her chair back in surprise, pulling her arms in close defensively. "Oh wow, I didn't see you there." She stares wide-eyed at Kavalam, darting nervous glances at Matt. The black gloves she's wearing start falling apart on her hands, but she only looks mildly annoyed, stripping the remnants off to drop them into a trash can even while pulling a another (identical) pair from her purse. "Um, sure. Lunch is fine." She rises, pulling on the new gloves and switching to halting French. "{See you tomorrow.}" She gives Kavalam a small wave before turning to leave.

Matt waves Kavalam to the seat that Sophia has just vacated. "My apologies, I thought that entrusting the information to technology would circumvent the problem. Take a seat, s'il te plait. Would you like some tea?"

Kavalam waves at Sophia, looking only slightly abashed. Mostly relieved, as Matt's powers take over from his effort. "Yes, it always works. I think. I don't," he admits with a frown, "really very well know." One hand scrubs his palm heavily against his forehead. "Tea would be very good. Pl... s'il te plait." His French is more than a little stilted. "I did not mean to make her --" His fingers rub together. "Melt."

Matt reaches over and hits the switch on his electric kettle, then opens the top drawer of his desk. "What would you say to a nice, rich Nilgiri oolong?" He lifts his eyebrows, waggling a neatly hand-labeled jar. "Sophia--that happens to her sometimes, and really, you had no way of getting our attention without startling us." He smiles gently. "At least, not yet! We're here to make a plan about how you can learn to manage it better."

"You have a good one?" Kavalam looks up, hopeful. "Here there is never a good tea." He pushes his glasses further up on his nose, sitting forward in his seat. "Are you good? At making the plans. Do you --" He hesitates, cheeks puffing out. "Are all of your people, we are all a problem? You are good with problems, no?"

"It's the best that /I've/ had, at least, and we do try to taste a wide range, My siblings and I are rather fond of tea." Matt scoops some of the tea into a glossy black teapot and sets it aside. "Problem?" His brows wrinkle slightly. "Mm, I do work with many students experiencing difficulties with their powers, though they are not all my advisees. So yes, I have a lot of experience trouble-shooting abilities, and I /am/ good at it." He steeples his hands. "That said, each one is different, and yours poses some direct challenges to the planning /itself/, given that it causes me to forget you once you are out of my sight." He glances at the kettle as the water in it starts to boil. "So let's work on that first. Are you aware of any way for people to retain information about you in their minds? Other than by having known you /prior/ to these powers manifesting, as I assume is the case for your family?"

"How many siblings is it? That you have? You have a brother, I think..." Kavalam is studying Matt's face, intent and uncertain. "I think he is my roommate. Probably he does not remember, yet." One of his legs is bouncing restless and quick, knee bobbing quickly and his hand tapping lightly against it. "My family they remember. Mostly remember. I do not..." His brows pull together, head slowly slowly shaking. "I am not good at knowing. I try sometimes just to think it very hard? It helps for people to see me. Sometimes I think maybe that also helps my friends when I come back but --" His shrug is overly nonchalant. "Maybe that is just a hope. How many of us have you fix, hm?"

"I have--" There's a brief hesitation here, a minute tilt of Matt's head, though his expression registers no change. "--four siblings, and one of my brothers /is/ a student here." The tea kettle clicks off. "You are probably right, though Gaétan hasn't mentioned having you for a roommate." One of Matt's hands turns up. "Naturally. But, the fact that you /can/ influence how easily people perceive you by exerting effort is an excellent sign." He taps in a few words on his laptop. "If you're comfortable with it, I would like you to show me how you do that--I'd have to ease up on suppressing your powers, but I won't lose track of you while we're sitting right here."

He reaches over and fills the teapot with hot water, regarding Kavalam steadily. "I suppose that depends somewhat on your definition of 'fixed'. I have helped dozens of people, here and elsewhere, get better control of their powers. Usually, that means minimum interference with their daily lives, but it looks different for everybody--by preference and by circumstance." He types in a few more words. "So, do you have an idea what that might look like for you? The goal you're hoping reach?"

Kavalam's leg continues to bounce as Matt talks. His eyes dart around the office, eventually settling on the laptop. "Gaétan is the one," he confirms. "What all are you typing?"

"It's your file. You may read it, if you'd like, although there's not much there yet." Matt picks up a couple of mugs where they've been drying, presumably, upside down on a towel atop the crammed bookshelf next to his desk. One of them reads 'Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler!' in multicolored text amidst a shower of confetti, the other is just completely covered with a wraparound graphic of books on shelves. "It's mostly for my reference, and that of other instructors who might work with you on your abilities--with permission. Dr. McCoy and the upper administration also have access, mostly in case of an emergency." He glances at his screen thoughtfully. "In any event, this stays on the school's internal server, whose security is unmatched."

"Yes, I want to see." This answer comes promptly. Kavalam hops out of his chair to cross around the desk, peering curiously at the laptop screen. "Who else might work with me, then? Mostly my teachers they forget I'm in the classes." His lips purse slightly. "Will I fail all of them? Amma won't like that."

Matt adjusts the angle of his laptop screen so that Kavalam can see it more easily. "There's an affiliate to the school who, like me, has the ability to analyze and explore other people's powers. I think it would be very helpful for him to sit in on our next session." The form displayed ('Abilities') is, indeed, mostly empty. Under 'General Description' it reads 'Passive ongoing effect that inhibits awareness of all information relating to Kavalam's person. Confirmed to affect direct observation of his person, memories of interactions with him, and relevant records regardless of format, including this file.' The 'Training Plan' section is still blank, but below it under 'Session Notes - 2017/09/18' Matt has just (to judge by the cursor) written 'He can dampen the antimemetic effect temporarily with effort; this may improve affected subjects' subsequent ability to access information about him.'

"As for your teachers--once you learn to manage your abilities better, they will be able to catch up on grading your assignments. In the meantime, though, I /can/ go with you to their office hours to make sure you're getting the feedback you need." He taps the side of his chin, frowning. "As soon as we find a way to ensure I actually /remember/ to do so." With a glance at the corner of his screen, he picks up the teapot and decants a fragrant, dark oolong into the mugs. "Here you go. I'm reasonably confident that once I observe you managing your ability, I will be able to replicate it--and keep it up for the remainder of this session. It might feel a bit odd, but shouldn't be as tiring as maintaining it yourself."

"You know," Kavalam muses, "when you write it like that it seems a bit eerie, no?" He takes the mug of tea, holds it close to his chest as he returns to his seat. "I do not know well how to manage it. But I want that. I want to learn that. I am very tired..." He shifts uncomfortably in his seat, looking down at his tea a long while. "Of not being a person."

"Eerie wasn't my aim, though I admit it does seem to be the effect," Matt replies, inclining his head just a touch apologetically. "I wanted to make sure anyone reviewing the file in your presence has a heads up that they will likely have trouble accessing it--or indeed even thinking to access it--at a later point." He picks up his own tea and inhales its vapors deeply before blowing across its surface. "Not being a person," he echoes quietly, "is an awful experience. I will help you learn to manage your ability so that people can perceive you and remember you. It will probably be an exhausting process, at times, but you'll not need to go it alone." The hold of Matt's powers eases as he speaks. "Now, think hard, the way you do when you want to make people see you."