Logs:Planning for Chaos

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Planning for Chaos
Dramatis Personae

Gaétan, Kelawini, Nanami, Zeke

Winter Ball

"Guess we're dancing."


<XAV> Great Hall - Xs First Floor

The largest room at Xavier's, the Great Hall is designed to hold all of the mansion's residents and then some. Built for the mansion's bigger functions, it serves as the school's dining halls on ordinary days, and ballroom when needed. On school days, long trestle tables stretch across the hall, high-backed chairs with plush cushions offering seating for the students.

The comparisons between Xavier's and various fictional Magical Schools are not infrequent, even if generally speaking the reality of daily class and cafeteria food pales in comparison to fiction. Tonight, however, these things seem a little bit closer to truth.

The Great Hall is barely recognizable, transformed in an afternoon of highly efficient if still somewhat hectic scrambling into the Snow Queen's palace--a theme no doubt chosen before the recent spiriting away of nearly twenty students. Between the ingenuity, skills, and powers of the various staff and school affiliates in charge of decoration, it's hard to tell the real ice from superficial ice patterns from wholly illusory ice.

A grand archway of ice frames the entrance and another matching one on the far end of the hall is set up for photographs. The tables ringing the edge of the room at regular intervals are dressed with faintly iridescent translucent tablecloths in ice crystal patterns that shift and shimmer with the ever-changing light, each featuring an illuminated ice sculpture of a mythological creature as its centerpiece. The curtains, walls, and floor--what can be seen of it beneath the drift of dry ice smoke--match the frosty tablecloths.Even the ceiling somehow is covered in majestic icicles, from which glimmering snowflakes drift down through the dazzling aurora and vanish upon contact but never feel cold on skin or tongue.

It's even possible that some number of the nervous-awkward-excited-bored teenagers dolled up for the dance tonight appreciate the work that's gone into it, but with so many focused on the music, each others' clothing, who is (or isn't) dancing with who, it's hard to say, really. Gaétan is at least not among the inevitable clusters of too-shy-or-too-cool youths permanently on the periphery of the dance floor. He's been dancing plenty, more often than not with his date for the night, though just at this exact moment he's taking a break by one of the frosted tables, leaning against the back of a chair with a cup of soda in hand, his eyes tipped up to critically examine the fluttering snowflakes that drift down toward him. He's shed his neat grey blazer in deference to working up some warmth on the dancefloor, draping it over the back of the chair and leaving him currently in a pale blue oxford shirt with a neatly knotted skinny tie somewhere between blue and silver with a subtle geometric pattern, unassuming black plainfront trousers and black cap-toe oxford shoes.

Nanami, for her part, is just flumping down into the chair that Gaétan's blazer hangs on, her own cup of water already half-drained. She is in a long, sweeping gown of palest blue edged in intricate black lace, and black heels accented with deep black glitter (with a black band choker to match!) that give them a subtle, surreal pop in the shifting light. She's just pulling off one of the heels as she sits, grinding one heel absently against her opposite toes with some evident relief once she's off of them. Her nose has wrinkled in mild incredulity as she looks up at her date. "-- so really like nothing nothing? Not even one plan for break? You got all New York City to explore and you're gonna what, play Hades for two weeks?"

Kelawini has also had no shortage of dancing, and if the date she's been dancing with is less noticeable than she it is not for any lack of showing him off. She's strikingly colorful tonight in sunny yellow asymmetrical wrap dress that looks lovely if not very at home on her--she tugs at it often and, perhaps to the scandalized or prurient interest of some schoolmates, seems in some danger of coming at least partly out of it in her exertions on the dance floor--glittery gold mary janes, and a host of jingling goldtone bangles accented with yellow glass beads. Her energy has not flagged, but perhaps she is merely taking a break in Kavalam's absence; whatever the reason, she is bounding over to her sister now, managing not to spill the contents of her own cup in her exuberant dash. "Hades that one you do with all the gods in um?" It's only slightly dubiously that she adds, "That count for one plan, too." She does not sit, but bounces up onto the balls of here feet as if ready to dive back into the dance. She has definitely not touched up her makeup all night.

Zeke stands at the edge of the dance floor—a bottle of Coke in one hand, his right foot tapping along to the beat of the music. The top few buttons of his grey button up shirt are undone and beads of sweat line his forehead. Earlier he had taken pick and product to his afro in order to loosen his normally tightly packed curly hair. He's not dancing, but he had been moments earlier. His blue suede wingtip shoes had carried him across the dance floor and through the dancing throng of students and over to his semi-secluded resting spot. Zeke half-hears Nanami and Kelawini's conversation—musing to himself about his own winter break plans...and his lack of a date. He pulls his cellphone from the pocket of his dark grey slacks—no new texts, no missed-calls, no notifications. Zeke shakes his head, forcing the the lonely thoughts way. He takes a big gulp of his Coke, finishing the bottle, then places it on the nearest table. "Ladies," Zeke nods to Nanami and Kelawini. "Mind if I..." he trails off as his eyes meet an empty chair at their table.

"I've had a couple years to get used to All New York City." Gaétan's brows have hiked up at the question, and the smile that ghosts across his face is tight and short-lived. "'sides, wasn't fall break exciting enough for you? I figured after this we could go have a bonfire, see where the night goes." He's just taking another sip of his soda when Zeke draws near. His brows lift again at the greeting, but only very briefly as he lifts his chin in a nod to the other boy. "Hades is a plan," he agrees, leaning just a little more on the back of the chair. "Anyway, I haven't finished Disco Elysium or Sekiro so that's like -- three plans." His drink-hand gestures out towards all the others, at large. "What are you planning to do with the downtime?"

"You forget the rest of the country still got a pandemic on? We be inside-inside." Nanami shakes her head, wiggling her toes again before slipping her foot back into her shoe. "But nice though. Actually get home to our --" Her eyes have gone wide at the mention of a bonfire, and she lifts a hand to bap sharp at Gaétan's arm. "Aue! You don't even joke."

When Zeke comes over she flutters a hand in agreement when he looks towards the chair. "All yours." Her head is still shaking at Gaétan's suggestion. "We actually make it home this time, I'm guessing -- hella fussing and Christmas decorations. I dunno. What you do with a pandemic Christmas." Her nose wrinkles again, this time amused. "-- Play Hades."

"I like some different kine excitement," Kelawini declares, all reasonable. But then her dark eyes go wide at Gaétan's suggestion, which she does not take for jest. Notwithstanding her sister's objection, she's excited enough about it. "Chee you for real ya we wrap up good and warm and go get our bonfire on!" She flashes a brighter smile as Zeke as he joins them. "We just talking 'bout winter break plans. Which is basically everyone play video games." This plan doesn't seem to hold much luster for her. "Or watch Nanami play video games--oh!" She fortunately puts her drink down before throwing her arms up. "We all stuck inside anyway we should do us some Zoom or da ki--that stream thing let you watch someone play a game and you all talk about it, like that?"

Zeke nods at Gaétan before turning the empty chair around and sitting on it backwards—draping his arms over the raised back of the chair. "Much obliged," he drawls to the group. "Ladies and gentleman I shoulda said earlier," he turns to Gaétan and nods again. "Pandemic Christmas sure ain't like normal Christmas," he shrugs. "I'm just amazed at how dang normal New York is. My town down in Alabama ain't doing so well." Zeke loosens his ornate bolo tie a bit. "I just got here a few weeks ago. Right before...," he pauses. "The bonfire. I'm not really settled yet—'sppose I wouldn't be goin' home even if my folks would have me. Guess it's Christmas at school for me...I reckon I'll finally get to beat Fire Emblem at least," Zeke finishes with a wry smile. "Haven't even started Hades yet."

"Yeah, Leo..." Gaétan's voice trips for a second like he's going to call him something else but he just tenses, brief, shakes his head, continues, "-- really saved our asses here. Weird to think..." His mouth thins, eyes lowering. "Just weird. We are not," he adds with a snort, "having another bonfire. I mean. You can if you're into that. I'm gonna wait a bit before I trust them that that doorway's closed for real." His fingers drum against the side of his soda. "What, like Twitch? Could do. Dunno if I'm actually going to play video games all break. Probably -- just deal with family chaos. Makes it almost tempting to stay here instead."

Nanami cannot contain her small shudder at the mention of Leo, her own eyes just a little bit wider. It passes soon enough, and she's offering Zeke an encouraging smile. "Plenny kids stay," she assures him. "Especially this year. After that whole other-world thing though our parents they maybe flip if we don't go, 'rona or no 'rona. Maybe this a good time, you get to see some more of New York, yeah?"

Kelawini only deflates a little, but recovers quickly enough--or maybe less recovers than just becomes far too disturbed to care about any potential disappointment, though it's hard to tell in this lighting that she's paled. "You think that guy--the one here..." She doesn't finish her question, her shudder not unlike her sister's. Gamely trying to move on, she nods. "Our parents they flip if we do go home, probably happy we can't leave outta their sight." This with a slight indulgent roll of her eyes. "They do Christmas here at school? Like, with a tree and all?" Her eyes are slightly wide, here. "I hope you get some kine celebration here," she tells Zeke, and then Gaétan, "and your family chaos no too chaotic. But I guess families, holidays, maybe hard to avoid some that, ya?"

"I ain't finna turn down any opportunities to socialize," Zeke says with a grin. "But I'll make an exception for bonfires. Last one didn't end well." Zeke taps his fingers absentmindedly on the table. "Maybe I'll take that advice and go explorin'. There's someone in the city I came here to meet." Zeke's smile shrinks and his big brown eyes lose a bit of their cheerful light. "Anyway, I'm glad to hear other folks'll be staying round for the holidays. Didn't wanna be the only person around. A Christmas tree would be nice. If they get one y'all reckon they'll let us student help decorate it?" Zeke perks up a bit as the conversation turns towards Christmas activities.

"Yeah, there's a tree and all." Gaétan's shrug at that is a little dismissive. "Dunno who decorates it." He's looking back up to the ephemeral glimmering snowflakes drifting down from the ceiling. "Jax? Can't imagine he'd turn someone away who wants to help." is is hazarded guess, and then, "I guess he's not the only teacher who cares about stuff looking pretty." Though he sounds a little bit uncertain on that count. His eyes stay turned upwards, even with his idly curious question, "-- To meet?" His shrug after that is small. "It's gonna be chaos."

"Well, if his tree anything like this kine --" Nanami is gesturing to the hall around them, impressed. "How you rate the chaos? Like stay in your room play video games or like -- run away to a whole other world to get away from..." She cuts off the end of that sentence in a gulp of her water, setting the plastic cup on the table and bouncing back to her feet with a little too much sudden enthusiasm. "Oh! I love this song." Evidently, it is Dancing Time again for her, at least.

"I hope you come meet them alright then," Kelawini sounds sincere if slightly perplexed. "Well, I'm sad to miss the adventures and the probably epic magic Christmas tree. Small bit sad." She holds her thumb and index finger about an inch apart. The look she flashes Gaétan is immensely sympathetic. "Sorry. You want some people to complain at on line, we got you." Granted, by the time she finishes apparently volunteering her sister, Nanami has fled. "Or at least to stream your games at."

Zeke smiles at the mention of Jax. "I'm in Mr. Holland's Intermediate Painting class. He's nice. Haven't had a chance to talk to him one on one yet though. Next time I see him I'll ask if the teachers need any help decoratin'—that'll make it feel more like Christmas to me." Zeke stands. "Didn't mean to sound all vague. It's just my dad I'm tryin' to meet. I think he lives somewhere in the city," he shrugs—feigning indifference. "It's a big city though and I ain't got much to go on, so we'll see what happens." Zeke's attention turns from the table to the dance floor. "I reckon my feet are rested enough. Y'all dancing?" Zeke is already inching towards the dance floor before the question is out of his mouth. "Oh, and you should definitely stream your games," he adds as an afterthought to Gaétan.

"He's aright," Gaétan allows of Jax. His brows furrow at the mention of Zeke looking for his dad, but he doesn't question this further. Just sets his soda down, fixing a smile back onto his face and following Nanami out to the dance floor. "Guess we're dancing."