Logs:Of Concerns and Consequences (Or, Hypothetically Speaking)
|Of Concerns and Consequences (Or, Hypothetically Speaking)|
"That's a lonely road to walk, and you've got enough loneliness already."
Xavier's - Gardens
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.
Despite the unseasonable chill, Matt is sticking to his guns on taking his lunch in the garden. He's wearing a seafoam green dress shirt, a silver-gray vest with a subtle leaf motif, and gray (lightweight!) slacks; the only concession he makes for the weather is a dark gray blazer, and it isn't even buttoned. He sits far to one side of his preferred bench amongst flowers that are still blooming despite the cold snap, his half-eaten meal neglected in favor of a well-worn copy of Terry Pratchett's /Night Watch/.
"Hello." Presumably Kavalam did, in fact, approach in much the usual way. At /some/ point. But when he speaks he is simply sitting, on the bench beside Matt as though he has been here all the while, elbows propped on his knees and his fingers laced together as he stares outward, watching a lone determined bumblebee bobbing its way through the mostly quiet flowers in front of him. Less formal than his advisor, he wears a lightweight black wool jacket over a thin yellow long-sleeved ribbed crew neck shirt, dark jeans, sneakers, his angular glasses today traded out for large Harry-Potter round ones. "Sometimes I think that the guards are the best ones. Except when I think the witches are."
Matt doesn't jump, but he does start with a sharp intake of breath that comes back out as "/Taber/nac!" The word is hardly out of his mouth when his eyes light with recognition--before they even properly focus on the boy sitting beside him. "Ah! Good day, Kavalam." He lapses into a sheepish smile, amused now even though he is still breathing hard. "They are all such dear old friends to me, I never have the heart to pick favorites." Closing the book, he brushes his fingers affectionately over the scuffed cover. "Have you read the Tiffany Aching books? I find they get missed in many a Pratchett binge because they're often filed under children's literature."
"I have not." Kavalam's focus stays intent on the bee (and, now sensible to Matt's ability, a rather determined concentration on keeping himself /noticeable/), but he can't help a small (small) smile at Matt's sudden jump. "Should I, do you think? I have very much more time to spend with books at this school than I did at home."
"I recommend them highly, especially if you liked the other witch books." Matt reaches down and pulls a slim thermos from his bag, leaning against the side of the bench. "Though I should warn you they are rather brutal, at times." His power threads into Kavalam's, delicately lifting some of the strain--not taking it over altogether, but well-positioned to do so if his advisee's attension lapses. "Is there some particular matter you wanted to talk about, aside from Discworld? Mind you, I will happily talk Discworld if you just wanted to chat."
"Hm." Just a brief and thoughtful sound, at the book recommendation. Kavalam still doesn't look up. His head waggles from side to side. "Yes, no, not Discworld." He does, though, focus just a little bit more -- it's a clumsy and uncertain thing, from a mind that has no /real/ notion of how or where to aim. Where he had been trying extremely hard to stay in clear and continual focus, now he shifts some of his focus outward -- just some of it. Onto the buzzing bobbing bee, not exactly relaxing his vigilance so much as nudging it a hair in the opposite direction. "You are a bit of a homosexual, no? Everyone says."
Matt doesn't make any attempt to stop whatever Kavalam is doing with his powers. Just observes it with a kind of abstract interest. At the question, his eyebrows lift up, ever so slightly. "That is...more or less accurate, yes."
"Hm." Approximately the same quiet consideration Kavalam had given to the books. "Yes. You seem as though you would have gotten bullied quite a lot." He sits up straighter, resting his hands on his knees. "I have some friends, and this is happening now. Some useless jackasses from the upper forms." His fingers drum slowly against his knee. "They think, they will keep their heads down, this will blow over? And perhaps it is just so."
"That's.../also/ more or less accurate." A minute twitch of Matt's lips suggests he's just conquered the urge to smile. "But yes, I have heard about that incident. It is possible that the bullies will simply lose interest, but given their probable resentment over having been punished for it, they may not." His brows wrinkle. "Are you concerned they may be escalating further?"
"I have concerns." Kavalam answers this promptly, eyes still fixed outward. "I do not think the school will deal with them. And anything they do, maybe, it will get worse." He hesitates, his brows scrunching together. "For them. But for me, it would be a lot easier to avoid troubles."
"Mmm." Matt pops the lid on his thermos and takes a sip, soft white steam curling out into the cool air. "It's true that many of the conventional disciplinary strategies for bullying are liable to make matters worse in this situation. In my experience, it is generally most effective for other students to intervene." He glances aside at Kavalam, his gaze steady and thoughtful. "What would be /ideal/ is if significant numbers of students were to show consistent and non-confrontational solidarity with those being bullied. But I don't think that's what you have in mind."
Kavalam glances to the thermos, then back to the flowers. "Mmm," he agrees with another side to side waggle of his head. "for other students to intervene." He leans forward again, this time propping just one elbow on his knee. Resting his chin in his hand. "It is a difficulty for me to show consistent /anything/ with other students, you know." His fingers drum against his cheek, now. "But what I have in mind? I don't know. I don't know, quite. I know I see a lot more in this school than most people. I know I can do a lot more than most people. I think maybe there must be some way to use that for a help. When you were in school, maybe, what would you have wanted?"
Matt is silent for a moment, head canted slightly to one side. "When I was in school, I--" His lip twitches again, but somehow the aborted smile doesn't seem amused this time. "--/would have liked/ to see my tormentors laid low. Their secrets laid bare, their relationships sabotaged, their social lives generally ruined. That in itself didn't guarantee they would leave off bullying--though for some, having their own fires to fight was a disincentive--but once /other/ students ceased fearing them, they lost much of their power, and had to conduct themselves with more care." He raises his eyebrows even higher and waves one hand in the air as if to dismiss a notion physically hanging there. "/Hypothetically,/ of course. But that can be a dangerous game to play, without knowing one's opponent. Some people will react violently--and their reprisal would likely fall on those such actions are meant to help. Whatever their actual source."
"Hypothetically. Of course." From Kavalam it sounds flat and rote. "In this school secrets can be hard to keep, no? There are so many people who might find them. Telepaths. Some have keen ears. Some who are hard to see. If they start meeting with trouble it could be a difficulty, saying where it has come from. If they meet with /enough/ trouble maybe they will have their hands full to deal with it?" A hopeful lilt to his tone; a hopeful lift to his brow. "But this is --" His palms turn up. "Only a guess. Not really a place I have, um, such an /expertise/."
Matt drums the fingers of one hand on the cover of his book. "/I/ did not go to a mutant school, but here? You are probably quite right, though I still wouldn't discount the possibility of such a plan backfiring." His brows knit in thought. "I could tell you quite a lot about how to keep such people's hands full, but that is bullying in itself, and it can change a person." He spreads both hands, palm-up before him. "I'm not moralizing, and I don't dispute that sometimes, a 'bad' thing can be the /right/ thing to do. But I also want you to consider that even doing the right thing can have negative consequences--even if no one ever knows it but you." He finally looks at Kavalam again, his expression serious but not unkind. "That's a lonely road to walk, and you've got enough loneliness already."
"Mmm." At this, Kavalam quiets. His head bows, fingers pushing his glasses askew as they lace up into his hair. "Do you know," this comes out soft and steady, "I have not managed to make so many friends, at this school. These two that I have made, they are the only ones. I am -- a little bit keen. To see them have a peace."
Matt nods, the motion small and slow. "I know." Not dismissive or defensive, this, but a little sad. "This should not fall to you, nor any student." He clasps his hands together tightly. "It still may not need to, if you can and are willing to give a solid report of the bullies' actions to the faculty or administration. But we both know that's just not in the cards, sometimes." Here he seems to relax a little, picking up the rest of his lunch. "So. Here is how /I/ took down my school's JV jocks. From a wheelchair."