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Dramatis Personae

Gaétan, Kelawini


"One minute these teachers were in the dining room telling our parents 'chillax we got this', next minute I blink and-- Welcome to Brakebills."


<XAV> Music Room - Xs Second Floor

Wide and spacious, seating in this soundproofed room comes largely on the sweep of gentle risers that afford the teacher an easy view of all the budding performers, and add another dimension to the acoustics of the room. Instruments of all types are carefully stored around the room, and a grand piano, immaculately upkept, takes the position of prize near the back. In a nod to the eclectic studies of the students, digital mixing equipment and turntables rub shoulders with the classical instruments. Music stands sit in front of most of the seats, and the only windows look out out over the side of the school grounds.

It's a deceptive sort of spring afternoon -- bright and sunny but not really warm, a crisp chill in the air outside even in the late afternoon. Despite this the windows have been thrown open here in the music room, bright and cheery and for the moment mostly empty. The jazzy mellow tones of a bass guitar are filling the room, currently played by one skinny dark-haired teenager over near the windows. Gaétan is in a green plaid button-down open over a white tee, faded jeans, black sneakers, head bowed over his instrument, his laptop nearby though he's not currently paying it much mind. The music room door has been pushed closed, the sound of his playing only barely audible from the hallway outside (even if clear enough from the grounds below.)

The door opens without preamble to admit a stocky young woman, her light brown skin pale for lack of sun, long dark brown hair falling behind her in loose waves. She's wearing a black button-down with up-turned cuffs, the top two buttons left undone perhaps by necessity as much as fashion, though the purple scoop neck shirt beneath is modest enough, red skinny jeans, and black lace-up boots. She scans the room with a vaguely critical air, though the slight frown eases just a touch when her eyes land on the room's sole occupant. She tips her head up once at him by way of greeting before drifting toward the wall displaying instruments, absently fingering but not looking at the Xavier's School brochure in her hand, recognizable by the happy, smiling--completely human-looking--teenagers on the cover.

Gaétan's eyes snap up when the door opens, though he doesn't otherwise much move. The intricate melody doesn't pause, either, continuing apace as he tracks the newcomer's path. "The brochure does not really prepare you." He finally presses his palm flat against the strings. Sits up, leaning back against the riser behind him. "It gives you the impression that most of this school has a sense of style and you're already way outstripping like -- easily ninety percent of everyone here on that front."

Kelawini looks back at Gaétan when the music stops. She raises her eyebrows, perplexed by his comment for just a moment before the connection snaps into place and she lifts the glossy pamphlet in her hand. "Thanks. Maybe they didn't want too much style?" She narrows one eye appraisingly at the group of carefree teens studying on the grassy lawn in front of the mansion in the cover photo. "Supposed to look approachable and..." Her mouth tugs to one side, not quite a smile, though it skews toward something like one. "...normal?" She continues along the wall of instruments, flipping the brochure open though she does not seem to be reading it in any committed way. "That was nice," she adds, nodding at Gaétan's bass. "For class or for fun?"

"Normal is the watchword." Gaétan rests his guitar across his knees, looking down at it briefly. "Can I pick an option C? In less weird times I tried to make some money with it." One shoulder hitches briefly. "Tell me they didn't just hand you the brochure and pack you on your way. Like yo welcome to Brakebills, good luck I guess."

When Kelawini's eyebrows lift this time it's milder, curious rather than confused. "Only 'tried'?" She wanders past the grand piano, running her fingers over the glossy black curve of its cover. "They also handed me a new phone. Said they'd find someone to show me around." She rolls her eyes. "Figure I'd save them the trouble." Her eyes actually focus on the brochure for a moment. "But okay, I got nothing on this girl." She holds up the "Student Clubs" section, indicating a brown-skinned young woman swathed in colorful and impeccably draped hijab, holding up a complicated mechanical component for a fellow student to see.

"Well -- more success some times than others, you know? The internet can be fickle." A quick smile breaks across Gaétan's face. "Man. I think few of us match up to her. Maybe, like. Marinov. That's sort of its own class though." His fingers drum lightly against the body of his guitar, eyes tracking momentarily to the window. "I'm Gaétan. By the way. You, uh." He glances back towards Kelawini. "Have a long trip to get here?"

"See, I thought you meant on the street--in less weird times." Kelawini smiles, too, quick and sharp. "I'm sure I'll meet them both sooner than later." Her expression changes rapidly--not to dismay, exactly, but something more than just bewilderment. "Aue, there wasn't even any trip! One minute these teachers were in the dining room telling our parents 'chillax we got this', next minute I blink and--" She sweeps the brochure across the empty risers. "Welcome to Brakebills. Have a brochure. Just another Tuesday." She runs her free hand through her hair. "Anyway it was..." A fleeting twitch of her face that isn't quite a grimace. "Chicago. Hilo, before that. I'm Kelawini." She goes to the open window and leans against the frame of it. "Where you from--Gaétan?"

"Sometimes on the street. But that doesn't actually make much? It's mostly for the practice. Playing with an audience is different than --" Gaétan shakes his head, leaning back as Kelawini speaks. His brows hike up, and up, a small downward tug skewing his mouth to the side. "Sorry wait what? They just --" He blinks, gestures ambiguously at the air between them. "Like bam. Yoinked you here? This place is weird don't get me wrong but that's a lot even for here." One leg bounces slowly, absently. "So like. A pretty short and a very long trip. Hilo is -- Hawai'i, right? I'm from here. Not far at all." His mouth presses thinner. "I mean, not here here. New York. The city. Close enough. And I guess -- also pretty far."

Kelawini leans forward with interest at Gaétan's reaction. "Yep! Well, not so much bam, it was more like--" She's warming to her recounting now, looking almost as gleeful as stressed. "The teachers just acting like everything was fine, no big deal. Then all of a sudden, the world just got pulled out from right under us and a different one shoved back in, too fast for the eye to see, and we didn't move at all but--here we were. It was like this entire year, condensed into half a second." She subsides back against the windowframe again, crossing her arms. "So it wasn't just another Tuesday. You go home much? Or is 'pretty far' too far?" She wrinkles her nose. "Everything on the mainland is like 500 miles from everything else, I have no idea what's near or far anymore."

"Shit." Gaétan's eyes are wide and he is leaning forward now, too, arm slung over his guitar to rest an elbow on his knee. "That's wild. I mean, teleporting is a trip but they could give you a little more -- I don't know. Warning?" His other hand scuffs through his hair. "That doesn't sound like just another Tuesday at all. Not that I'd really know but -- I kind of get the impression this is all sort of a big deal. I'm sure they're all used to it by now but they could at least recognize that it's. A lot, right?" He settles back once more, slow, as Kelawini's story ends. "I go home most weekends. It's not that far, it's just -- it feels like another world out here."

"Why wouldn't you know? I mean you live--all this." Kelawini waves the pamphlet in the air by way demonstrating 'this'. "Seem like a pretty fucking big deal to me, anyway." She slumps a little harder against the wall, looking over her shoulder at the bright, crisp afternoon outside. "Yeah, I bet. I thought Chicago was lolo, can't wait to see New York." It's oddly difficult to tell whether she's being facetious on the last point. "Your family don't get it, huh?"

"I'm sure they're both -- pretty different from Hilo." Gaétan looks past Kelawini to the window. Shrugs a shoulder, answers lightly, "Nothing to get. I'm not a mutant. School is expensive and my brother teaches here, so --" He turns a hand up. Lets it fall back to the body of his guitar. "But I don't think most people just uproot their life and teleport across the country for shit that's no big deal."

Kelawini shrugs and allows a slow smile. "Yeah, well, I guess in their defense, there's really no place like Hawaiʻi." Neither wistful nor scathing, just quietly proud. "Oh! Wait, you're not--" She narrows her eyes. Looks at Gaétan closely, as if she could see the X-gene or its absence. "Huh! Kind of just--was thinking you don't look like a mutant but..." One hand gestures at her own body. "Yeah... I don't mean the um, teleport, but it's been a ride, and it's gonna make a great story someday." Her laugh is dry and humorless here. "But not today. I'm just gonna try to finish this tour without screaming." She pushes herself upright and gives a casual salute to her new schoolmate with the folded brochure as she makes her slow way back toward the door. "A hui hou."

Gaétan's smile at this first comment is smaller -- only the slightest twitch at his lips but a warmth that crinkles at his eyes. In short order it's extended to a more crooked quirk. "Way you just told it, it's made you a great story right now." He picks up his bass again, fingers finding their place on the frets. "If I hear screaming I'll know not to panic. See you 'round."