"...if you enter the teacher's lounge after dark, you must draw up a bubble bath."
From indoor gardens to outdoor, though without the protective greenhouse glass the back gardens do not last all year round. Still, the gardens out here are well-tended and well-worth spending time in, as well. The paths wending through the beds of flowers and herbs and vegetables spread out through the school's back grounds, tended by students as a credit class. Benches offer seating and a small pond is home to koi and turtles, as well as a few frogs. At the far back edges of the garden, a droning buzzing marks a few stacked white boxes as beehives.
It's early yet -- breakfast is still being served in the Great Hall, and there's a crisp chill in the air. Frost rimes the gardens -- dormant as they are, though there's not much by way of flowering in this season a delicate glittering layer of ice has blossomed over the beds in intricate crystalline patterns. No doubt the warmth of the cheerful dining hall is more hospitable -- or the cozy-muggy greenhouse-glass'd conservatory -- as such the gardens are quiet, this morning. Still, peaceful.
Up to a point. By the pond, a sleek black-and-tan half-grown mongrel pup, one ear perked up and one lopped downward, is stalking its half-frozen edges, peering intently into the water at the lazily drifting fishes still glinting white and gold somewhere near the bottom. She moves slow, belly near the frozen rocks, eyes wide, nose snuffling down almost at the water's surface. Peer. /Peer/? Occasionally, a /very/ small whine. Very small.
Nearby, there are in fact humans accompanying the oh-so-hopeful dog. Lucien seems largely unconcerned about the possibility of the dog taking a dive into the chilly koi pond. /He/ is perched on the edge of the frozen rocks -- unconcerned as well with their cold. The tall man, not a particularly familiar face around the (usually oh-so-reticent with strangers) school is impeccably well dressed; crisply tailored dark trousers and a neat well-fitted dark wool coat (unbuttoned), a slim matte grey thermos at his elbow and a plate of eggs and hash browns presumably from the dining hall and liberally adorned with hot sauce resting on his knees. His blue-black hair is carefully tousled, his bright green eyes currently fixed -- off into the middle distance. There's a fork in his hand, but he's seemingly forgotten about his /food/ just now; his free hand is tapping a rhythmic beat against the rock, a quiet tune hummed very soft under his breath in time with the tapping.
Nekara being a bit of an early riser, or perhaps just not having much of an appetite at the morning, one or the other, either way, having already finished her breakfast, and is taking this opportunity when the majority of the students at least are distracted by the food, to go out to explore a bit on the grounds outside the school, something she has been pushing back due to how much she has problems getting used to the -much- colder weather than there was back home. As such, she has a rather thick, long coat wrapped tightly around her form to stay warm, fully buttoned up and a belt fastened around the waist to keep it extra snug. Hands tugged to the pockets of said coat as she finds herself in the gardens, which while probably not nearly as impressive as they would be during the summer, are still quite an interesting sight even during the winter. Squinting her eyes some when she sees the dog playing near the pond ahead, for a moment trying to recall if she had read of any rules specifically about animals on the grounds, before, while walking closer, eventually spotting the man sitting nearby also, which explains the presence of the dog, although she does not recognize the man either, which is reason enough to walk her way over towards him, to find out what his business on the grounds is.
Beside Lucien, Matt looks /slightly/ more anxious about the dog's ambitions toward aquatic hunting. But only slightly. The two men have the same distinctive green eyes, though they do not otherwise resemble each other much. This one wears a green and gray softshell jacket, a sage oxford shirt, slate corduroys and old but well-maintained brown hiking boots. The wind plays havoc with his short brown hair, and he runs a hand through it periodically to straighten it, although without much success. His breakfast is considerably less colorful than his companion's, both for the lack of hot sauce and for being mostly consumed already, though he presently takes a break from it to snag the thermos from Lucien and take a long drink. When he catches sight of Nekara, he waves (thermos still in hand) and flashes a quick, easy smile.
Lucien's eyes drop to his thermos when Matt takes it. His lips press together briefly, though this soon resolves itself into a slight smile. The humming stops; he glances up, pulling in a short breath and lifting his hand to straighten Matt's wind-tossed hair (futile though this may be; the wind will catch it again soon enough.) When Matt waves he looks over toward Nekara. His very-small-smile pulls into a more distinct one, neat and polite as his head inclines in a slight nod of greeting. The dog, meanwhile, has no such greeting. She is /very focused. There are still fish. Out of reach.
Nekara has not yet got into the habit of using a hat, which might explain why the cold is so troubling to her, and in this case, allows the wind to have a field day with her hair. Coincidentally enough, her eyes are green as well, unusually strongly so, looking Lucien over, until she spots Matt next to him, which makes her expression soften some as she does recognize him. "Ah, Mr Tessier, I must admit, this seems like quite an unusual time for a picnic." she offers with a slight chuckle, the words directed at Matt, as she moves to a stop when standing within conversational distance from the two, hoping that her... presence, does not affect the men too strongly.
Pulling her right hand out from her pocket, Nekara offes it towards Lucien in a greeting. "Nekara Kemsit, nice to meet you, mr?" There is a noticeable accent in her voice, though her English is reasonably fluent.
"The sky never looks so blue as on a bright, clear winter's morning." Matt inclines his head, half of a nod, his smile turning just a touch sheepish. He does not seem at all unsettled by Nekara's proximity, though. "I can see how it might not be everyone's idea of a pleasant setting for breakfast, but it keeps everyone else's food safer from her, at least." His eyes flick to the dog, crouched low at the edge of the pond; then to Lucien as Nekara offers her hand. "...also Tessier," he supplies helpfully. "Forgive my rudeness, I've gotten into the unfortunate habit of assuming everyone knows him already. Ms Kemsit, this is my brother Lucien." Then, looking back to his coworker. "I hope you're settling in well?"
"I find it a perfectly pleasant picnicking spot. Even fallow these gardens have such charm." If Lucien is at all unnerved by Nekara's presence, it does not show in his pleasant smile, the warmth in his green eyes. The clasp of his hand is firm -- his touch comes with warmth of its own, a subtle and nigh-undetectable brightening of mood, a pleasant wash of /cheer/ and relaxation. "Tessier," he supplies in tandem with, evidently, his brother -- though in speech they are as dissimilar as in looks, his voice soft and tinged with a distinctly francophone accent quite unlike Matt's very Americanized one. "Enchante. Should I be offering you welcome, then, Ms Kemsit?"
"Oh, it is undoubtedly beautiful out here, I was mostly referring to the weather... or am I only one who it feels a bit cold to?" looking between the two, as she shakes the hand with Lucien, Nekara does feel rather relieved when neither of the men seems to be rattled, the feeling further enhanced by Lucien. "A pleasure to meet you, Lucien. And yes, so far at least, everyone has been very welcoming, which is a very refreshing change to what I am used to." The last part directed towards Matt in response to his question. "Have been rather busy working out scheludes and topics to cover, having the first actual class this upcoming monday. Would be lying if I said I wouldn't be slightly nervous, starting in a new school. But hopefully it goes well." Nodding slightly in acknowledgment of Lucien's welcome, while her attention is momentarily stolen by the antics of the dog. "Thank you."
"We are from Montreal," Matt offers by way of explanation. "Though people have varying levels of tolerance for the cold regardless of what they are used to, I'm sure this is a dramatic change for you!" His smile brightens again. "No matter how much preparation you do, the new term will still present surprises, I'm sure. You're allowed to be nervous, it's not against the rules." He takes another drink from the thermos before passing it back to Lucien. "If you have any questions or need any support--Professor Xavier may send someone to your aid before you even ask. But also, do feel free to ask."
"Where do you hail from? Have you come far?" Lucien claims the thermos with a small nod of thanks, taking a small sip and then re-capping it. "/Is/ it not in the rules? You all haven't yet mandated projecting an air of calm and competence to the students at all times? Honestly, what sort of administration is running this operation?" He sets the thermos down on the rocks beside him, reaching once more for his fork to spear a small morsel of eggs and potato. "Have you taught teenagers before, Ms. Kemsit?" He slips his bite of breakfast into his mouth.
The dog, meanwhile, has made her way most of the way around he pond by now, slinking over to approach the Tessiers from Matt's side now rather than Lucien's. It's only when drawing very near that she finally pries her attention up and away from the water -- if only to nudge her nose up over the crook of Matt's arm. Poking it toward his plate to snuffle straight toward the remaining scraps of food left on it. Lucien's brows lift -- if only faintly.
Nekara watches the dog as it makes its way over to Matt, before drawing her attention away from it and back to the two brothers she is having the conversation with. "Montreal? Well, I imagine that does give you better starting point to dealing with the weather. I am from about as far away as possible I imagine, Cairo. I have done some teaching before yes, although it was rather hard to find work due to being a mutant, and the nature of my mutation which made most people quite nervous around me, certainly did not help either. I have been quite delighted though to notice that many people here do not seem affected nearly as strong, if at all." Moving her hand back into the warm safety of the pocket of her coat, she nods to Matt's offer. "Thank you. I did have one of the students, a really friendly girl named Marinov to show me around most of the school, though I assume there are some parts which are off-limits to students. If there is anything of that nature that I should be aware of, I would certainly appreciate."
Matt scruffs at the dog's ears and, picking up a stray piece of egg white, feeds it to her. "It's recommended, not mandated," he replies easily, grinning. "This school has its share of problems, to be sure. Among other things, you'll find not all the students or even all the staff are treated with the same respect and dignity, but it does fill a need, all the same." He finishes off his hashbrowns before his dog does it for him. "I'm not certain yet how that component of your mutation functions, but in time I could probably tell you why it affects some less than others. If it would be helpful to you! There are some areas where students are not permitted--you're probably already familiar with the ones relevant to your daily life by now. But just in case you weren't aware..." He leans toward Nekara and drops his voice low, conspiratorial, "...if you enter the teacher's lounge after dark, you must draw up a bubble bath." Serious nod. Then casually, as an afterthought, "Oh, and Taylor--Marinov--is not a girl. Or a boy."
"Cairo. That is quite a trip. I wish you all the best with settling in, then." Lucien's brows tick up just a bit higher when Matt feeds his egg to the dog -- her tail wags harder, and she thrusts her nose further forward, tongue swiping out to slurp at his plate. "/Incorrigible/." This is murmured, soft but fond beneath his breath. "Nervous? Well. Perhaps New Yorkers are just a hardy bunch. Our nerves have been -- collectively -- sorely tried, these past years." There's a small hint of smile touching his lips as he looks back down at his plate, taking another small mouthful of his own breakfast.
Nekara smiles as she watches the antics of the dog. "Seems that it is easy to become her friend, at least." she notes, nodding slowly as she listens to Matt's explanation about the school. "Every place has its own problems, I only hope that I will manage to be more on the side of solving them than causing. I do try to treat people equally, though I guess you would need to be a machine to manage perfectly in that." When Matt starts talking about her mutation, and finding more about it, she gives him a curious look. "I would very much appreciate any help in that. I still don't even know what exactly is causing that reaction... but its certainly not anything consious at least, as I only notice it from other peoples reactions. Which, I guess means that there is not much chance of being able to find out a way to turn it off."
Leaning a bit closer to Matt to listen to that whisper, before laughing softly once she hears what he has to say. "Oh dear... I will have to keep that in mind." she responds with a solemn nod. The last part makes her brow to arch in surprise. "Oh? Well... now I am feeling silly for calling... them? that. I will have to apologize when I meet Marinov next." Nodding in agreement with Lucien. "Yes, it was indeed... took several months to get all the paperwork done, and I doubt I could have managed it without help from the school. But, if how welcoming everyone here has been so far is anything to base on, I don't think that I will be regretting moving here, being able to finally do work matching my education. Oh? You must forgive me if I am not that up to date yet on recent events in this area."
"Flèche is quite certain that everyone is her friend." Matt chuckles, removing the plate from the dog's reach but then slipping her another piece of egg. "It's a bit of a problem, from time to time." He shrugs philosophically and kisses the dog on her wet black nose. "My power is sensing and manipulating other people's powers, so I'm reasonably confident I could tell you more about yours--including whether or not it may be possible to turn that off--with some study." He blinks at Nekara for a moment, considering. "I think my brother is referring to the outbreaks of...well, most native English speakers say the 'zombie plague', but I've heard it called the 'English sickness.'" He hesitates, brows wrinkling, leaning subtly against his brother. "You might want to do some reading up on the topic if you're not very familiar..."
"How could anyone help but be her friend? She is composed mostly of love, by volume." With the plate out of reach, Flèche hops down off the stone wall, only now turning her attention to Nekara. Tail still wagging, she trots over to the woman, nose thrusting toward one of Nekara's pockets to seek out her hands. Lucien straightens just slightly, his shoulder pressing gently back into his brother's lean. "Mmm, yes. The plague has scaled itself back from epidemic status, but. To those who have never encountered one before, running into the undead for the first time can still prove -- alarming. And it still happens, around New York. Every so often." His tone is mild, for all that.
Nekara listens curiously to what Matt is saying, seeming quite impressed by the description of his powers. "That definetily sounds very useful, especially in a school like this. I would be interested if you can spare the time for that study at some point, you would need to tell me of course if I need to do something specific to make it easier. It is a bit embarrasing to admit, but I don't really know nearly as much about my own powers as I would like, since until now, I have for most parts tried to keep them hidden to not disturb people."
Looking down as she feels the dog nudging her, Nekara crouches down some as she takes not one, but both hands out of the pockets to pay Flèche attention, one scritching from behind the ears, and the other stroking down along the back. "Zombie plague? Well, I will definetily add that to my list of things to read up on. Sounds rather disturbing, really. I thought that would be something that only happens in movies."
Matt smiles as he watches Fleche claim yet another friend, though there is a brief tightness in his shoulders probably noticeable only to Lucien. "That she is," he agrees softly. "I would be happy to offer any assistance I can, and honestly, regardless of whether you've been forced to hide your mutant status, most powers don't volunteer much about their own inner workings." He bites his lower lip and pushes the remnants of his eggs around the plate. "Unfortunately, the plague is quite real," he says at last. "The school has emergency policies and informational documents ready in the event of another outbreak, so that might be a good place to start." He finishes off the last of his food. "It was nice talking to you, but I should probably go get ready for training." This a little reluctantly. He braces a hand on Lucien's shoulder to push himself to his feet. "A plus tard." The hand lingers for a moment, squeezes down. "Je te dis merde."
"Once in a very long while," Lucien admits lightly, "my brother does manage to make himself of use." He takes Matt's empty plate when the other man stands, tucking it neatly beneath his own while he continues working his way slowly through the remainder of his own breakfast. "One might almost think --" His hand lifts, sweeping a vague gesture out towards Nekara, his departing brother, the school building beyond, "a school full of people with fantastical abilities was something that only happened in movies. Yet here you are. The world has quite a bit of wonder to it, n'est-ce pas? The dead rising is not such a farther step."
Nekara nods to what Matt says, smiling up to him. "I appreciate it. I imagine your schelude is busier than mine, so please do let me know when you find time to look into this." Scritching the dog for a bit longer before straightening up again. "I will most definetily look into that. I am sure that we will meet again sooner or later, working in the same building and all. Be well." Moving her hands back into the pockets as she turns back to Lucien when Matt starts walking away. The mans words making her to pause for a bit, as she thinks it over, then nodding. "You do have a very good point there. I definetily have a lot of catching up to do."
"I should leave you to it, then. I'm sure you have plenty to attend to, this morning." Lucien's smile is small but warm. He finishes the last of his own eggs and rises, dishes carefully balanced on one hand and his other dropping to his side. His tongue clicks lightly -- Fleche bounds back to his side, leaning heavily up against his leg with her head thrust up beneath his palm. "I wouldn't want to keep you out in the cold, besides. I know it isn't quite to everyone's taste. I do hope you enjoy your weekend, Ms. Kemsit."
"And you, Mr. Tressier. It was nice meeting you. Hopefully next time will be in warmer surroundings." Nekara offers in return, giving one more look down at that adorable dog, "And it was nice to meet you too." she says to it before starting to continue along on her way to finish her exploration of the garden while she is this far already, before heading back inside.