<XAV> Gardens - Xs Grounds / <XAV> Bootlegger's Hideaway - Grounds
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.
After a long day of rather grueling classes and getting his homework done in advance as he always did Remi had taken himself out for a walk to enjoy the evening air. He was dressed extremely casually, in a plain black t-shirt and a pair of grey swears with a white pair of sneakers. His hair tied up in a messy bun atop his head.
He breathed in the evening air as he attempted to stop going over his plan for the week and allowing himself some peace. Bending down he very carefully caressed a few flowers he didn't recognise but thought were very pretty. He squatted there staring at them, letting his mind wander about how his mother would love them.
Remi's peace is regretfully just about to be interrupted. A door swings abruptly open -- not from the mansion side off at the other end of the garden but much nearer, a narrow shed that normally houses gardening equipment and currently houses one very earnest teenager, plump and brown-skinned and wide-eyed in jeans and Captain America (the musical) tee shirt ("I can do this all day" says its tagline), silver-and green-mask on their eyes though their usual silver-and-green cape is nowhere to be seen. Behind them there is still no hint of Garden Tools, just what looks like a cosy and slightly messy living room. "Heyyyyy," Sriyani is wide-eyed behind the mask, and glances over their shoulder with a brief whisper like they are conferring with someone else in the room; their conferring must be inconclusive because in lieu of a name they come back with, "-- uh, Xavier's... person." They're glancing only slightly cagily around the garden, quite clearly relaxing when they see nobody else in sight. "Are you busy can you come with me? I think one of --" Another brief distraction, another brief whisper. "Oh! Oh you're the -- hey do you have, like, your, uh, nursey things too?"
Shooting his head towards the voice, Remi's eyes widen at the new face and quickly a smile tugs at his face. That is until the person asks if he has his nursing kit.
"Umm, I don't have everything right now, it's mainly in my room but I have my pocket first aid kit with me. It's only got one roll of bandages some band aids and like a little bit of thread for small stitches. Will that help?" He stands up and makes his way towards the new face, his brow furrowing slightly with worry.
"Oh I have no idea," Sriyani replies, cheerfully unbothered as they step out into the garden and close the door behind them, "I'm actually terrible with first aid." When they open the door again it leads back into Remi's dorm. "Will that help?"
Slightly confused as his bedroom seems to now be in the garden he half chuckled. "Yes, that's kinda cool ok..." He ran inside, worried it may close on him before quickly running through and grabbing a rather large canvas bag with a red cross embroidered into the side before returning through the doorway. "I'm no professional by the way but I have pretty much all I could need in here" still a little confused. "Who's hurt?" His tone slightly shaky with fret.
Sriyani's brow furrows at the question as they close the shed door behind them both again. "... I actually don't know," they admit. "I've only met some of you and I don't get the visions I'm really just, like, an accessory here. Transport? Anyway I leave the real badass stuff up to the others. But like --" They're opening the door again, this time onto -- nowhere around the school that Remi's ever seen, no doubt, a dusty old cellar that has clearly been Not Used for a very long time. There are a few brand-new footprints in the dust, a few fingerprints swiped into the shelves and aging bottles of liquor on them, but mostly, it looks like this was abandoned Long Ago. "-- mostly I only know you from the handful of you who've helped us out lately, you know. But I think one of your classmates is in trouble and we figured you guys have helped us so much it's kind of obvious we should return the favor when we can, right? -- C'mon woah." Their eyes squint to adjust to the dim light as they pass into the cellar, blinking a few times. "... is this your school too, did your Professor build your school with mob money, that's wild."
<XAV> Bootlegger's Hideaway - Grounds
This is an old bootlegger's cellar dug into the side of a rocky ravine in up in the less-trafficked hills of the Xavier family's vast property. Its door is cunningly hidden by the surrounding geography and quite overgrown to boot, but joined by a path to a boat launch at a bend in the stream below. Inside, it's just a simple if sturdily built space lined with shelves and racks, some of which still hold bottles of contraband presumably smuggled up the Hudson to keep the wealthy residents in good spirits during the Prohibition era. A tunnel at the back of the cellar passes under the hills, though sections of it are beginning to crumble and the other entrance near the mansion has long since collapsed.
Passing through following Sriyani closely behind. Blinking a few times as he adjusted to the new location. "Can you just go anywhere you wan--damn!" He stopped in awe for a moment. "is this on the grounds? I didn't know we had a place like this here!"
Taking a moment to adjust to their new surroundings he spoke up again. "Oh, I did hear about some folks like going off on "adventures" but I thought that was just fanciful talking ya know?" He giggled to himself before sight and shagging the shoulder lugging the quite heavy bag. "Well, I guess all I can do is follow you and help out whoever needs it but...do you do a lot of stuff where people get hurt? You seem kinda calm about this and I can't lie im kind of freaking out??" His voice cracked at the end of the sentence.
The tunnel at the back of the cellar has partially caved in -- where there was once a trap door slanting down and out now there is a half-collapsed pile of wood and rocks and earth. The half-collapsed pile is occasionally shifting, though it stops. Goes silent for a while before, only slightly suspiciously, Gaétan's voice: "... someone there?"
"I think so? I don't know you have like a million miles of grounds doesn't your headmaster own like, all of Westchester?" Sriyani shrugs. "We do a lot of stuff where people are in trouble," they answer thoughtfully, "and sometimes people are hurt when they're in trouble so then you help them, uhhh -- do you, like, have first aid stuff for people who aren't hurt cuz that seems -- oh! No!" They're calling this in what is clearly meant to be a reassuring tone back to Gaétan's question. Then frowning, then almost immediately: "I mean yes! I mean, we're not, like, teachers or anything we just came to, you know, get you out before your teachers were like, hey, is a kid smuggling booze back there -- are you smuggling booze back... you know nevermind um you're not suffocating or anything are you cuz then we'll probably have to work a little faster?"
"Gaétan?!" Remi recognised the voice he feared until not too long ago and rushed towards the talking pile of rubble, dumping his bag at his side and trying to shift as much as he could until he could see Gaé's face. "Keep talking ok? Just so I know where you are hunnie. It's Remi, this ummm... " He turned to Sriyani with a soft smile. "I never asked your name but we'll introduce ourselves properly after. It's lovely to meet you though!" The nerves in his voice had shifted now, his hands shaking as his voice calmed as he kept shifting the rubble. "Are you hurt anywhere Gaétan?"
The most important priority in all these questions, evidently, is to answer: "This would be a good place for booze." Has he been smuggling any, does he plan to smuggle any, who is to say! "I don't think the teachers know about it you couldn't be --" Oh, yeah, right, on the subject now: "I'm not suffocating, I'm just -- Is that Remi?" It's hard to say from his tone what, if any, are his feelings about this. There is a space of pause after this recognition, though. But then, hopeful: "Don't suppose you could drum up some of those bombs to pass me now, probably be quicker."
"Woah! I thought you were just here for nursing but you pull double duty?" Sriyani's eyes are twinkling, amused, as they look at Remi. "So like you're totally --" Wait for it, they're clearly already expecting the groan, "-- da bomb." Now they're crouching, peeking at the rubble, trying to peer through a very narrow kind-of-sort-of slit at the top of it between a Very Wedged rock and the edge of the floor, "Okay don't worry we're doing this. Uh will the bombs explode like... if you touch them ooooor can we give you the bombs and stand back how much bomb are we talking about exactly. I don't want to ruin your future liquor smuggling operation or, you know, die."
A long sigh escaped his mouth as he realised they were both right as he stood up. "Ummm they're not too strong so I'll need a few, but no we can stand back." He rubbed his hands together, trying to calm his nerves and opened them to reveal 5 bright red candies in the palms of his hands. "Ok so, I...they shouldn't blow up that much, I'll be as careful as I can be!" He said as he rushed to place them in certain places like focused charges.
He stood up and out of worry shooed Sriyani into a safe area. "It won't ruin the whole thing! Just enough to get things shifted ya know?" He focused on the places he'd placed the Candies and thought he'd let Gaé know, boom time.
"Gaé close your eyes, don't want ya getting stuff in em I don't have an eye cleanin station!" He tried to joke as he willed the balls of sugar to explode.
The rubble that sat atop of the Candies flew upwards and away, luckily only small bits reaching where Remi and Sriyani were standing. "Are you okay???" He called out. "I didnt kill you did I???"
There's a long silence. Then, eventually, a bland: "Yep, dead." It takes a bit before he drags himself out of the tunnel with a bit of a grimace, sliding on his belly and pulling himself out with elbows hooked onto the edge of the hole-that-was-once-a-trapdoor. He's heavily dirt-spattered and even moreso after dragging himself out. He starts to pull himself upright on the wall -- winces he tries putting weight on one ankle -- slumps back down. "That wasn't you," he assures Remi, "that was all me falling down a fucking hole." He exhales hard and then, looking up at the other two with a crooked smile, "-- Thanks."
Sriyani looks very skeptical as Gaétan pulls himself out of the hole. They do go over to give him a hand, and then watch him for a moment. "I had a friend once who was dead," they reply as he sits back down. "Weird mutation, I don't understand the X-Gene at all, like, the baffling things it does sometimes. Like if you told me you had super-secret-hideout-finding powers I'd be like, huh, yeah, that sounds like a thing -- anyway your friend brought his first aid stuff for --" They make kind of a vague wrappy gesture in the general direction of Gaétan's ankle. "I can bring your dorm here I'm guessing you don't want to walk all the way back?"
A sigh of relief as Remi ignored the two of them, going to look at Gaé's ankle. "Oh! I have a ghost friend too! I guess he's dead??" He said as he was eyeing up the ankle in question.
"That might be for the best, I can't tell if it's broken yet without trying to move it but regardless. He's gonna have to be in bed for a while. Oh! What was your name again, oh master of many doors?"
"Today my power is being a damsel in distress. Kinda grateful for people with badass superpowers swooping to the rescue. Tomorrow who the fuck knows. Maybe I'll go back to the superpower of a smidgen of normalcy at this crazy-ass school." Gaétan squinches up one eye at Sriyani's mention of friend who was dead, Remi's mention of ghost friend, expression hovering between curiosity -- sympathy -- settling on mild interest. "Got a sister here who's dead," he says. "Weird how often that happens." He grits his teeth and eyes Remi for just a second before holding up his hand, a clear request for support. "C'mon, maybe you can help back in the room? I'd like to sit on -- not a pile of rubble that just tried to kill me."
"Oh wow like I said, X-Gene, super weird!" Sriyani shakes their head as they move back toward the door, looking one more time around the small cellar. "You should totally clean this place out, though, like -- without the falling and breaking yourself next time. All superheroes need a secret hideout." When they open the door again, it goes to Gaétan's dorm, this time." They add -- in kind of a stage whisper, Gaétan can definitely still hear it -- to Remi, "I know you said you were kind of freaking out but sometimes you kind of freak out! And then you help people anyway that's the important part. Your friend's fine now and you did great."
Remi leant down and held out his hand grabbing hold of Gaé and pulling him up the best he could. Putting Gaé's arm around his shoulder. Turning to Sriyani he chuckled. "Thanks Hun! I guess blowing things up isn't so hard, trying not to blow up a friend along with it ... A little more difficult! Thanks for the support!" He grunted slightly. "Speaking of...Id best get him through the door or I'll drop him and break the other ankle." He began ushering Gaé forward, his canvas first aid bag hooked in the crook of his arm. "Well, today was eventful, huh?"
"If we do start a rum-running business out of here," Gaétan promises Sriyani solemnly, "you all will get our first batch." He leans against Remi, clearly trying not to put too much of his weight on the other boy as he limps back to his room. "... and midterms this week so it's not really looking up from here."