2019-06-06 - Of Reunions and the Opening of New Doors


In which Catseye is reunited with Emma Frost expedited by Hank McCoy, and then Betsy Braddock is asked to join and vette the White Queen and the former Hellion for access to the Institute. Much ruffled fur flies!

Important Note - This log was done by a prior Emma Frost but is allowed to stand with one edit - the present Emma does not have the Diamond Body and so it could not have been used here. No changes have been made to the actual log text, however.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Jun 6 02:09:19 2019
Location: RP Room 1

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Theme Song



Having sent Miss Frost a meeting invitation via email, the good Doctor McCoy setup a meeting in a neutral spot, one that a fuzzy lioness girl would be able to attend without fear. The meeting spot? Hank has rented out a gazebo in a forest preserve just outside the city. The invite accepted, they coordinate times to meet, and Hank dresses up COMPLETELY inappropriately for the venue, though perhaps if it were a wedding, or bar mitzvah or something! Regardless, The gazebo currently has some light refreshments to offer, and one extremely large, extremely furry, super-scientist.

Does Emma Frost ever dress appropriately for any sort of venue? Maybe one or two very specific ones, but most times? No, no she does not. So it's probably little surprise that she shows up all dressed in tight, white clothing consisting of leather pants, knee-high buckled boots, a corset, and a bolero. She doesn't seem to notice or care that she's out of place here, instead she walks up to the gazebo like she owns it, confidence exuding off her like a perfume, "Being out in nature is so…quaint, Dr. McCoy. If I didn't know any better, I'd think you chose this location to minimize any damage I might cause." She smirks and continues on towards the refreshments, barely looking at the Beast at all, hunting for anything alcoholic, "I got your message, and I have to admit I was curious. I hope I don't end up like the proverbial cat." She looks towards Hank then, still smiling.

Catseye rode up in the back seat of Hank's car, napping along the way. On reaching the gazebo, she had taken shelter in the beams above to nap while they waited. After all, she needed to be out of view if a stranger came by, and people never do look up. Scenting Emma's approach, she crouches in the darkest shadows above, her tail almost vibrating with excitement. Must not pounce, must not pounce, must not… "MotherMotherFrost!" To her credit, she doesn't pounce ON Emma, though she lands right next to her and begins to purr like a cement mixer full of gravel.

Hank rises, he'd been sitting down, one very long leg folded over the other as he reads a rather thick book, leatherbound of course, and should Emma peek - something unspeakably dry and science-y. "Actually, Miss Frost, it was to ensure that Catseye could attend and not be worried about 'smoothskins' getting out of hand." Hank's blue eyes track up, just as Catseye jumps down. "And…she is clearly very excited to see you." Hank's smile is rather toothy as he closes the book, and sets it aside to pour for Emma, a nice light white wine, for the White Queen, what else?

The White Queen is known for many things, and composure is high on that list. So high that the softening of her expression could be almost jarring, that shock can be so easily noticed, "CatsEyes? Sharon?" Her eyes are wide, and she looks to Hank, and then back to her former student, "How…" she closes that small gap between her and her former student, and she reaches out a hand as if she's about to cup the other woman's cheek, but then she pulls it away, "If this…if this is…" she doesn't need to finish that thought, instead she reaches out into the mind of the girl she's oh so familiar with. No words will prove it to her. Oh no, only Emma's gifts will make her truly believe.

It is definitely Catseye, and she is so very VERY happy to find MotherMotherFrost again. She headbutts Emma's hip, careful of her strength in lion form. One does NOT knock MotherMotherFrost to the ground, no matter HOW happy you are! "Wake up in back of truck with bad mans, try fight but SHOT, and get out but fall and fall and fall…" The images in her mind are vivid, the smell of her injured and dead classmates, the men armed with assault rifles, attacking one and being shot so MANY times, fightCLAWslash and out of the back of the vehicle, falling over the edge of the bridge and to the river below. "Longtime get back to safeplace… but safeplace gone. MotherMotherFrost gone!" And that was too much for her, she had retreated back to the wilderness, back to just being Cat.

Hank is a very keen observer, and he really doesn't know Emma all that well, even so — the transition, the sudden transition from aloof to shock and genuine concern — that is something he quite readily will observe, note, and keep to himself. And with the raw emotion he can see, and considering he can track by scent, smell…yeah. Hank just fades back into the background for the nonce, this is private and highly personal. Honestly? Cat's love of Emma is what got him to arrange the meeting, and damned if he was not prepared to take some less than kind actions should Em have been 'as advertised', after all, she's a former villain. For all Hank knows, she still IS a villain, just craftier and more subtle. Either way, he's not really that concerned about anything other than what's best for Catseye, which fact will be easily detectable by a telepath of Emma's calibre. "She's a good girl, Miss Frost. Catseye did not deserve what happened to her." In part due to HIS actions, he helped with the destruction of the academy, after all. He's got a responsibility to help this girl, this innocent, and if Emma's what she needs, well…that's where he'll go. Ultimately, the decision isn't his - it is Catseye's.

The mind can't lie. Not to Emma Frost, the White Queen. It's a truth that has structured the Blond's adult life, and made her the woman she is today. It's a truth that has her smiling a genuine, heartfelt smile, rather than the one that is a mask, when she looks at CatsEye now, "You're alive. I…I can't believe it…" showing emotion is as rare as being at a lost for words, and for a moment, Emma is the teacher, rather than the Queen, her hand reaching back to touch the purple haired mutant, "I searched high and low, when I recovered. I looked for all of you, and couldn't find anything. I though…I thought I had failed you…"

And just like that, Emma takes in a deep breath and steels herself, and she looks back to Hank, "She is more than just a good girl, Mr. McCoy. She's a survivor. She has more of me in her than I had dared hope. Whatever else might happen next, know that you have my thanks for bringing me here." the telepath looks at Hank a moment more, and then it's back to Catseye, "I never meant to leave you. I left, because I had lost that which mattered most to me. But I'm here now. As are you."

Softly, Catseye admits. "Catseye not been smoothskin since badmans. First, not safe. Furform heal better, hide better, hunt better. Later…" Later what would the point be? Without the school, without Frost, smoothskin had nothing to offer her that she wanted. Not even books was enough temptation to bring her back. "FurryBeast finds Catseye in woods. Promised Catseye safeplace and to find MotherMotherFrost! And did! Catseye had to leave wild piggy behind." And she hadn't gotten to eat most of it! Ooo! She smells cheese wrapped in prosciutto on the table among the snacks! Catseye rears up on hind paws, and delicately scarfs two off the edge of that plate. Briefly she regrets there's no table cloth on the table. Can't just steal plate, hide under table, scarf it all. Furform is no excuse to be rude.

A grin, one fang deplorably adorable over Hank's lower lip as he does. "Technically, that would be -Doctor- McCoy, Miss Frost, but generally I prefer Hank, feel free to use the more familiar mode of address if you so wish." Hank nods then. "Yes, she is definitely a survivor. Catseye is a wholly remarkable young lady in every way…pure of heart, loyal, brave, and honest." He doesn't say anything about Emma's thanks, he does incline his head to acknowledge them, however - to do otherwise would be unspeakably rude. "Catseye and I met by pure happenstance while I was jogging." True story! "She's presently staying with a friend of mine in Greenwich Village, Dead Girl."

Hank grins. "I thought I was BlueBeast?" Yes, he's clearly teasing Catseye, he even scrunches up his face and pulls a face at her as he rocks his head right to left, it…yeah, big, dignified, super-intelligent…BRAT. "Ahem." He clears his throat then as he straightens, and fusses with the hang of his jacket, looking all dignified again. Nope, nothing to see here!

"A survivor." Emma confirms with a nod, and a little smile, "Doing what you have to do to survive. It's a state of being we all…" she looks between the pair, "know all know well. Too well." She sniffs and then clears her throat, "But you don't have to be afraid any longer if you don't want too, Sharon. You don't have to worry about being safe. Not if we are together again. I've learned from my mistakes. I've grown."

When Emma turns back to look at the Xman, she's smirking once again, that cocky confidence once again clear as day, "Forgive me, Doctor McCoy. Hank. I don't mean to offend. This gift you've given me. This kindness you've shown to Sharon here? It is not something I will ever forget. In her, I have a chance to truly atone for the mistakes of my past. To be who I am meant to be. In her, there is hope. And I think you will agree that hope is, more often than not, all We have." There is no doubt that that is a capital W in We."

Catseye tilts her head, "Furry was important part, SillyDoctorBeast. MotherMotherFrost understands." She headbutts Emma gently again. "Catseye stay with MotherMotherFrost, yes?" She gives Emma her most adorable kitty eyes, sitting neatly, curling tail in front of her, pretty as a postcard. The only thing giving away her amusement is the slight quivering of her whiskers. She -knows- this trick doesn't work on Emma, Emma helped her -perfect- this trick. She then heaves a great sigh. "Will even wear smoothskin. Eventually." She tilts her head to the side, almost upside down, looking at Emma. "No clothes." Catseye is definitely teasing Emma. Modesty is one of a huge list of StupidHumanRules that Emma made her learn, and she follows for love of MotherMotherFrost.

Hearing that sniff and cleared throat, Hank produces a handkerchief, very fine linen, Gothic scripted monogram in the corner 'HPM', the letters offset but interlinked, he says nothing about it as he offers it wordlessly to Emma. "Catseye, you should know something." Hank hunkers down to be at her level in her leonine form. "I was part of the attack on your SafePlace, they were doing bad things, not all of them but most." He is prepared to get his ass kicked, and he's ready to just take his lumps. "I am sorry for the pain it caused you, the hurt. I hope you can forgive me, but I know that you might not — either way it is -right- that you know, and that YOU get to choose." Such is the mettle of the man, he won't deceive the girl, not now that he knows that she'll have a guardian, even if it is not him.

Emma's thanks, smirking confidence not withstanding, her words appear to be genuine, she smells sincere and genuinely contrite, then again — she could rewrite his brain and make him think he's a blue cat named Skittles if she wanted to. That does flash through his mind, but Hank doesn't dwell on it, instead he looks thoughtfully at the both of Catseye and Emma — assuming of course he's not fighting for his life, naturally.

"SillyDoctorBeast? Oh my stars and garters, that would be a challenge to build into a costume logo." And then he comes to a decision. "If you'd like I can introduce you to others at the Institute, -both- of you." Hank is taking a big chance here, but he wants to make sure that Catseye has -options-.

CatsEye would be correct if this were any other day, but today? Here and now? There is no denying that there is an effect. Another of those rare genuine smiles that actually reaches Emma's eyes, "Yes, I will take care of you, Sharon. I'll protect you, and keep you safe. In my suite, for now, and later? Later we'll have to see what could be next for us. I've been considering my path, going forward. Considering what's best. And now, I think I know. Seeing you reminded me of what's important. Clothes or no clothes." Does nudity shock Emma? Anyone that knows her, and most who ever lay eyes on her, would know it wouldn't.

Emma turns to Hank then, and her cold blue eyes stare right at his face, making eye contact as much as the man will allow, "We all have a past. We've all done things. What's important now is how we move forward. Whatever you've done, what ever I've done, and whoever I've been? It doesn't matter. It shouldn't matter. I want what's best for my student. I want her to have the life she wants. I want all of Us to have the lives we want, and deserve. So. How would you suggest we proceed, Hmms?"

Hank's revelation brings a low warning growl from deep in Catseye's chest, and she shifts her position to stand between Emma and Hank, on guard. Still, she doesn't attack, doesn't even swat. She knew the Safeplace wasn't perfect. There were some students she would have liked to claw more than she did, some teachers too. But it was HERS. Emma's words calm her down, stop the growling. "MotherMotherFrost is right. Is past. Now matters." Still, she is wary now. The idea that BlueFurryBeast might -attack- MotherMotherFrost hadn't even occurred to her. And now that it has, she does not like the idea. At all. Catseye also knows that Emma doesn't need her protection, but she wants to make it clear who's side she is on and that she's not a kitten to be protected!

To his credit, Hank meets that gaze steadily, and without wavering. He KNOWS what she -could- do, but he's going to take his chances anyway. It is a little thing called 'faith', it is also his hope that the future doesn't have to be tainted and stained by the past. In fact he stands, straight and tall, towering not from height but from sheer bulk and presence. Chin raised he holds Emma's gaze, and then he smiles and it is like the clouds breaking to cast sudden daylight. "Then, Miss Frost, if that's truly what you believe, if you are genuinely hoping to build a better future for those who come after — to help them learn not to make the same mistakes we made — then I would suggest you come to the Institute after I have spoken with Professor Xavier and the others, I wouldn't want anything…" He searches for the right word, and then settles on. "…unfortunate…to happen. I know you and Catseye have much to get caught up on, I wouldn't presume to interfere." A firm nod. "The ONLY way to proceed is to keep moving forward, to sustain forward momentum and leave the world a better place for our having been in it. None of us can do that alone." The smile turns quirky. "WE. Not I. Not you. Not her. Not him. Not them. WE…US, -that's- the only way to proceed that doesn't go to dark places, unity is key. Unity of purpose, solidarity, and most importantly…hope." Nah, SillyDoctorBeast's not an idealist! Not even a little bit. Okay, maybe a smidge…a few drams. But really…is the world he dreams of such a bad thing?

The relief that comes when it is apparent that Catseye won't attack, that she might even forgive him…is palpably visible, it is in Hank's scent, and Emma can surely sense it with her psychic abilities, even without trying! His relief is profound and then he smiles even more brightly and meets Catseye's gaze with not even a hint of threat or challenge. "Now matters." He agrees readily and sincerely. "I promised you I'd help, and I did. I promised you'd I'd find MotherMotherFrost, and I did. I promised you a safeplace to stay while I searched…" He places a hand over his heart, massive hand splay-fingered. "I keep my promises, and I promise this, Catseye — I will never again keep the truth from you. Okay?"

For a moment Emma's skin takes on the form of Diamond, shimmering, and never quite becoming complete, as if she's conflicted about something, before she's pure flesh and blood again, "We've all done things," she repeats, "And going forward, I want to make sure I avoid the mistakes of my past. I want to make sure Sharon and I will never have to live through what we've lived through other again. My students mean the world to me. I'd go so far as to say they…that she, is all that matters to me now. Our future is in their hands, and we owe it to them to make sure they are prepared."

Emma takes in a deep breath, and then reaches into the inner pocket of her bolero, pulling out a flask as she does. She uncaps it, and takes a swing before capping it and replacing it, "I don't want any confusion though. I will do whatever it takes, WHATEVER it takes, to keep Sharon safe. Secondary to that, I want her to learn to be the best her she can be." Emma looks to Sharon and smiles again, "I want you to be whatever you were meant to be. What you want to be. I will make that happen, no matter what." Back to Hank, she continues, "We can be an asset, or we can be something else. This choice is as much Yours," the you is implied, "as it is ours.""

Catseye watches Emma, breathing deeply, though her nose twitches at the flask, not quite a sneeze. She then shifts up to her half-form, which is covered with fur long enough for modesty even without clothes. Catseye very carefully hugs Emma. "Catseye stay with MotherMotherFrost. Even study. Though Calculus BORING." She gives a martyred sigh. And in half form, she can snag some more of the snack food without being overly rude. Besides, her full cat form can't really taste sweetness, so some foods are just better in half form.

Since Miss Frost and Catseye are clearly in accord, and willing to at least listen, Hank nods his understanding. "And that is definitely a two-way street, Miss Frost." Again he comes to a sudden decision, and takes out his mobile phone. "Excuse me, ladies…" Noting Catseye snacking, he sneaks out a small tupperware container, and offer her some homemade caramels…salted of course, sea salt in fact. "Try these." He distracts with food, a conspiratorial grin flashed towards Emma before he actually calls on the phone.

Elsewhere, Betsy's phone will ring, the caller identified as one Doctor Henry Philip McCoy. "Miss Braddock, Hank here." He greets. "I hope you're well?" After her response he continues. "I would like to ask a favor of you, I have two persons of interest that need to be vetted before being allowed access to the Institute, can you spare the time?" He does NOT go into details, phones, even HIS are not totally secure. He's expecting a telepathic contact for the deets!

The ringing will come just as Betsy is finishing rearranging her rooms at the mansion, for the fifth time since she arrived back. There is a smile on the Brit's face at the caller id, as she picks up to answer. Of course, there are no details over the phone. She will in fact, hang up, and set the phone down.

«Hank, love. Where shall I meet you? I can always make time for one of my favorite men. » The mental words are filled with a warmth of affection, even as in reality the model touches up her lipstick and makes sure the simple and elegant updo is securely pinned.

At least Hank's timing isn't execrable! Half expecting the hang up, Hank puts the phone away and his eyes go a little distant, Emma's sure to sense the fact he's being teeped with. Perhaps a little surprised at the warmth of the contact, Hank replies, his mind voice as exactingly enunciated, as precise as his spoken, and sharper for the words are also backed by a mind of exceptional range and scope, albeit not an Esper. «Hello, Betsy.» She'd no doubt sense a mental frisson at the warmth of her greeting. «We're at the gazebo in Woodson's Park, just outside the city. Be advised — those to be vetted are significant, one is Emma Frost, the other is Catseye.» Another perk to telepathic communication with a genius who has a nearly perfect memory? He can /think/ GPS coordinates on a map at you, and it can be trusted!

"And there is so much I have to teach you now, Darling," Emma says with another of those rare (not so rare just now) smiles towards CatsEyes, "So much more than I could have before. And I will never make the mistakes that were made in the past. I'm learning, just as you have. And you've always had so much potential. I knew it then, and I know it now. You -will- be among the best of us, I'll make sure fo that."

The Blond telepath looks back to Hank then, "Is it? I know you may not believe this, but I have never cared about anything more than my students. There is only one way down this street. The way that ensures the next generation has it better than we've have."

Catseye purrs happily at Emma, and tries the salted caramels Hank offers. The expression she makes at them getting caught in her teeth would be humorous, if those teeth were not so very, very sharp. "MotherMotherFrost gave Catseye everything. Smoothskin, yes, but moremost important Language. Gave Catseye books, and music, and dance, and art. All from MotherMotherFrost." Then the sideways grammar vanish as she tilts her head and recites from memory,
"Hope is the thing with feathers -

That perches in the soul -

And sings the tune without the words -

And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -

And sore must be the storm -

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm -

I've heard it in the chillest land -

And on the strangest Sea -

Yet - never - in Extremity,

It asked a crumb - of me."

"Miss Frost, let me assure you that it IS a two-way street, we have to give and take to be certain that the future is what we clearly both wish it to be." Hank is quite earnest, even emphatic as he answers her stern question of him. One thing you can definitely say - Hank is nothing if not honest, it must have been KILLING him to not reveal what had happened to Catseye before now! "And, forgive me, Dear Lady, but I can hardly ask you to trust me, to submit to vetting without having the grace to at least trust you a smidge and take you at your word." Not and be who he is, anyway.

Hank laughs, it is sweet natured and not mean at all as Catseye eats the caramels. "I'm sorry, I should have warned, but—worth it, right? That's my grandma Esther's recipe, held as a sacred trust from the days of her own great grandmother!" And then he listens to the girl speak of the gifts she's been given, and his gaze shifts briefly to Emma, and then he listens to the perfect recitation. "Dickinson…always loved that poem, and excellent choice, PinkFuzzy." Hey, she gets to call him silly names! So, he gets to tease right back!

There is just simply no way that Betsy could have arrived by now via car, or even motorcycle. But she will appear from a copse of trees just minutes after she's conversed with Hank. Purple hair is up in a simple twist, simple silver accessories worn with her chic designer gray jumpsuit with matching gray heeled boots. The makeup is simple, just bumping up the natural look a touch.

She will approach the gazebo with her easy, long legged stride, expression one with a soft, pleasant smile at the ready. Of course, in her life, it is her default neutral mask. "Dr. McCoy. I hope I haven't kept you waiting." There is amusement quivering in those words.

Emma laughs out, a hand coming up to brush an errant hair away from her face, an errant hair that may or may not have actually been there, " Honestly, Doctor McCoy, does Sharon seem like someone that can live in a world of give and take? Thirty or forty years from now? Maybe. But Now? Are there many that would accept her for all she is?" an eyebrow arches, "Do they accept you?" She shakes her head and lets out a small sigh, "Sharon is clearly exceptional. I knew that as soon as I found her. And I accepted her. That's what makes me better than most. Do I accept that caution is required? Of course. But we've given so much more than we've taken already. Two way street? I could only dream of such a thing."

And there's another, and Emma is, at last, back to her normal self. Cold and calm, "Surely you wouldn

Emma laughs out, a hand coming up to brush an errant hair away from her face, an errant hair that may or may not have actually been there, " Honestly, Doctor McCoy, does Sharon seem like someone that can live in a world of give and take? Thirty or forty years from now? Maybe. But Now? Are there many that would accept her for all she is?" an eyebrow arches, "Do they accept you?" She shakes her head and lets out a small sigh, "Sharon is clearly exceptional. I knew that as soon as I found her. And I accepted her. That's what makes me better than most. Do I accept that caution is required? Of course. But we've given so much more than we've taken already. Two way street? I could only dream of such a thing."

And then there's another, and Emma is, at last, back to her normal self. Cold and calm, "Surely you wouldn't attempt an ambush, would you doctor? Or, more gently, a poorly conceived intervention?" Emma's gone Diamond, and her disapproval is clear.

"Hello Miss Braddock, no, not at all…your timing is impeccable, nearly a match for your fashion sense." Hey! Hank can -occasionally- manage to be somewhat suave, a little. A hand gently set on Betsy's shoulder, he turns to indicate the pair she's come to vette. "Miss Emma Grace Frost, Catseye - aka Sharon Smith, allow me to introduce Miss Elizabeth Braddock." No doubt Emma would know of the girl, both her X-career and her ex-career as it were. "Miss Braddock, meet Miss Frost, and Catseye."

Catseye teases Hank, "Catseye is purplefuzzy. DoctorBeast need glasses maybe?" Then Betsy arrives, and Emma goes diamond form. Catseye yawns, and oh my that is a LOT of teeth there. She is currently in werecat form, her tail straight up behind her, though with the tip of it curved down and back. She carefully selects another piece of cheese wrapped in prosciutto and eats it. "Catseye says hello."

"While I'm not sure we've met," Emma says in a tone that is clearly detached, "Miss Braddock's reputation proceeds her. A telepath, Mr. McCoy? Really? Do you truly doubt my intentions so much?" Emma looks from Betsy, to Hank, and back again, " If you wanted to read my mind, at least in regards to this situation, I would have allowed it if you asked. But now you have me just a tad concerned about your intentions."

"Miss Frost, forgive me if I took you off guard, that was not my intention at all. When I called Miss Braddock and asked her to join us it was because there's protocols in place before anyone can come to the Institute who has a history." Hank is as far from a combat ready pose as possible, and it is telling that he's not using any of the mundane means he could employ to shield his mind. "Even I had to be vetted, Miss Frost, after my hiatus with the Brand Corporation and my subsequent return to the Institute. I assure you, the procedure is standard, and not an ambush or attack…" He looks thoughtful, then turns to Betsy. "Can you use MY mind as the site for your vetting? If you both meet there I'll be a hostage to both sides…" He honestly doesn't know, but that's surely a generous and brave offer!

She will smile and incline her head to them both, a tiny lift to one graceful brow at Emma. "No, we have not." At least not in Betsy' current memories, and well, she looks different from her..other self these days.

She will cooly stand by, letting Hank explain. "Everyone that is going to come to the Institute, visitor, resident, even family, need to be vetted. I assure you, it is nothing to implicate anything unflattering towards you." She will glance at Hank. "It can be done, but I'd prefer not, Hank. It would just take more time, and open you and miss Frost to sharing more than you may intend. I prefer to keep vetting as quiet, quick, and impersonal as possible. For everyone's comfort."

Catseye tilts her head, listening to people talk. "Maybe scan Catseye first? MotherMotherFrost watch?" By 'watch' she means telepathically. Having people in her head doesn't bother Catseye at all, so she really doesn't understand what all the fuss is about. But she can see, and more importantly smell the tension and it is distracting.

Emma's diamond form gives back to flesh and blood, and she lets out a sigh, "I want to believe you, and I suppose trust has to start somewhere." The blonde looks back to CatsEye then, as much to reassure the feral one as herself, one might think, and then it's to Betsy with her cool blue eyes, "I have nothing to hide. And even if I did, I'm fairly certain you wouldn't be the one to ferret out ill intent." Ego to the end, "I give consent, if that's what it takes. I want what's best for Sharon, and for all Mutants. I'm an educator, not a villain. Vet me as you see fit."

Hank settles to the ground then, not at all worried about the suit, and if Catseye permits he'll scritch her while the two telepaths talk. He's hopeful that his offer though denied as impractical, helped Emma accept the vetting process. Because, really — if his brain became a battleground between telepaths of their strength, the only surety is that Hank would have had his very psyche shredded. He nods when Emma consents, and then looks to Betsy with a hopeful smile. "I believe her, but I know that the protocol is there for very good reasons."

There is just a faint lift of both brows at that, a blandly pleasant smile remaining on her face. She will glance at Hank. « Does she realize that if I don't do this, she doesn't get what she wants? » "I don't mind taking Miss Sharon first. As for what I ferret out or not, Miss Frost, it generally will not behoove you to insult the person who can help you get what it is you state you want. That may work elsewhere, but not with myself." The voice is cool and crisp, with that upper class British accent, and completely without any heat or hint of what's actually going on inside Betsy.

She will glance to Catseye, her smile warming. "Shall we proceed, then?"

Catseye pops one more piece of prosciutto in her mouth, then shifts down to furform so Hank can scratch her mane properly. "Yes, PurpleHair. Go look." She is utterly relaxed, and why shouldn't she be? She grew up raised by feral cats, thinking herself a cat, privacy is foreign to her. Until MotherMotherFrost found her, showed her how to shift, gave her language. Having a telepath in her mind feels normal to her.

«I'm sure she does, Betsy.» Hard to use 'Miss Braddock' mind to mind, it seems odd. «I also think she's earnest in her hope to make amends for her past, but that doesn't mean that there won't be friction.» His mind voice is wry. «Thank you for doing this, it is…it is important.» Hank gives good scritch, by the by! His claws are very deft in finding the itches!

He looks to Emma then. "Miss Frost, please? We're not here as enemies, we're here as would-be friends. I ask you to consider that, consider what the stakes could be if we revert to our past methods. Not just for yourself and Sharon, but to all of us." Hank's expression is for once lacking a smile. "That's all I ask." And he focuses on scritching Catseye while she's probed.

"Darling," Emma says with a wicked little grin, "I always get what I want, and it's never my fault that you and those likes you don't realize that what I want, is really what you want." the blond takes a more erect stance, hands on her hips, "But please, go ahead. Stumble around like a child in mind, if you wish. I don't have to respect you to get what I want, in this case, and I believe that even your small amount of talent will be enough to prove that I am exactly what I say I am. In this one thing, and this one moment, I have nothing to hide."

Betsy Braddock smiles at Sharon, her head tipping just a bit. "Purplehair. That's a new one." She clearly doesn't mind it, as it is just as clearly meant without malice. Violet eyes will just watch the feline shifter, as she easily slips inside the young woman's mind. For all of Emma's jibes, Betsy knows her power well, and if Emma is 'watching', she too will be able to feel that hum of mental power Betsy keeps an easy grip of - an omega telepath in her own right. It will not take long to slip through layers and get deep within, despite the unusual conjection of 'cat' and 'smooth skin' that built upon one another.

Almost before a moment has passed, Betsy has withdrawn that power smoothly to herself, carefully concealed and held.

Catseye opens one eye when Betsy and Emma snipe at each other, then closes it again. All growling, no claws. Sharon's mind may be odd, but it is neatly ordered and clean, and the girl's idea of being sneaky is snagging food and hiding to eat it. She's also very used to telepathic examination, how could she not be? Emma has used it to teach her 'human things' time and time again, it feels more natural than talking sometimes. Certainly more efficient. She lets Betsy look, more interested in being scratched and the sheer joy of having her 'Mother' Emma back.

Hank keeps a careful eye on things, he can't help it, he's wired to protect. It is a bone deep drive that he's not even conscious of anymore. He's a goof sometimes, he's often stern - as needed, but mostly he's a hero. Say what you will, Hank McCoy is just not villain material. That big-eyed winsome and beseeching gaze Catseye turned on Em earlier? Hank would be doomed! Will be doomed? Time will tell!

"Well then, Ms. Braddock? Does she pass? Did I instill in her some sort of desire to be advesarial?" Emma snorts lightly and continues, "No. I did not. Sharon is a gifted young woman who I merely tried to help into her true potential. Now," She takes in a deep breath through her nose, "The main event. I know you want what's in my mind, SweetHeart. This is your one shot."

"She certainly does." Betsy says, chin lifting just a bit. "I don't know why you're being quite so antangonistic, miss Frost, but that doesn't help your case with me. I understand that this is not the most comfortable of situations, but I am doing what I am bid. This is the least favorite part of what I do around the Institute. But if it helps ease your discomfort and vulnerability to be snarky and aggressive, I will have to overlook it." There's the unspoken 'this time'.

With an expression that's lovely and bland, Betsy will unfurl her power again, reaching into Emma's mind. She will be polite and let the other telepath have a second to be aware she's there, before she will start to slowly filter through from top of Emma's thoughts to deeper and deeper levels.

Catseye remains where she is, purring with her head on her front paws, her eyes mostly closed slits. Of course she is watching what is going on, and can go from zero to pounce faster than most could believe if Emma seems to be under attack. But for the most part, she is content to let the adults figure things out. She knows that she's just a kitten compared to Emma, and the complications about territory and power in the human world are far more complex than she understands, though she is learning. But for now, she waits, and butts her mane against Hank's hand demanding more scritching.

"You know, I've never had occasion to pet a large cat before, it is quite an experience." Hank oomphs as he's mane-butted, but takes the hint and devotes BOTH massive hands to the task! Having fur himself gives him a little insight on where to best apply them too. Doc McCoy definitely does keep an eye on the two Omega telepaths in the gazebo - which sentence he'd never have thought to think prior to this - and is prepared to intervene as well, though he's unsure what exactly he could do. By the time he'd know something was amiss it is pretty likely it would be over.

"To say that this is not the most comfortable would be an understatement, Darling." Emma says while her arms fold across her chest, frowning "Had I known just how many surprises were in store for me at the beginning of the day, I'd have had quite a few more drinks before I made my way here. There's really only so much one can be expected to process with grace and poise." The blonde looks back to Catseye then, the only reason she's willing to suffer what she surely feels is an indignity by letting one inside her mind. She even manages a soft smile before looking back to Betsy.

Emma's mind is surprisingly open, when it's read. Sure, there are doors closed to Betsy, but much about The White Queen's intentions, her current plans, and her feelings about finding one of her long lost students are open and available.

Betsy will take her time, it will not be as quick and cursory as with Sharon - for multiple reasons. Betsy knows that Emma is a strong telepath, and that will clearly take more time than a non-psionic. What may appear to be openness about her intentions and plans, needs to be verified by going deeper into the subconscious to correlate.

"Found MotherMotherFrost again. Is best day. No matter what." Catseye's voice is quite firm on the subject. The institute is secondary to her, compared with being with Emma again. "Catseye stay with MotherMotherFrost. No matter what PurpleHair decides."

Reading Emma compared to reading Catseye is comparatively like reading The Hobbit (Catseye) and The Silmarillion (Emma) - whole different books! Hank keeps at the honorable duty of Scritching the Cat, and nods. "You get to choose, no matter what, Catseye." She seems to prefer that to Sharon, her smoothskin name. Sadly, she's rather been smoothskin traumatized. He smiles then, toothily but not with menace. "And you know that you can come to me should you ever need help and Miss Frost is not available, right?"

Emma frowns as the scan continues, and then she reaches back into her the inner pocket of her bolero to retrieve a flask, which drinks from before tucking it back away, "Having fun in there, Miss Braddock? Seeing anything you like?" She looks between each of the gathered mutants then, and her jawline pulses as teeth are forced together. She's not enjoying having anyone rummage around in her mind, and it's clear. She may be a mostly open book, but she does, at times, put up hurdles for Betsy to jump through. She won't make it easy, and Betsy might even assume that there is some testing going on as Emma hopes to learn at least a little something from this encounter, "Surely you have seen that I'm no threat. That all I want is a chance to be what I was meant to be. An educator. I have only the best interests of mutants at heart."

Betsy would never tell Emma so, but this isn't enjoyable for her, either. "Not hardly, Miss Frost." She will simply deal with the hurdles, not allowing anything to show beyond calm and clinical to show. All Emma will learn is that Betsy is an Omega level telepath without any issues with her power. "I have seen what you want me to see, yes. I'm just doing my job." She sounds almost bored.

Catseye nods at Hank's words, "DoctorBeast has been good friend to Catseye, Catseye will remember." She listens to the two telepaths mock-growl and posture at each other. Of course they are going to fluff their fur and show their teeth, both are powerful women. Like if she goes to this institute she will have to behave herself, but make it clear she isn't afraid of them. Probably a lot of yawns showing sharp teeth… not polite to claw carpets, much less hardwood floors.

Hank is very much impressed that these two can spare the attention to -chat- while testing each other as they are! That's not a trivial thing, not with minds of their power. He expected no less really, but it is one thing to conjecture, another to see it proven so. Hank removes one of the hands lavishing attention to Catseye's mane, but only for a few moments after reaching up and taking down a small plate of the cheese wrapped by prosciutto she seems to like and sets it on the ground where it can be easily reached…and then the second hand gets back to work! "Good." Definitely this is the clashing of two very Alpha women, both serene in the surety of vast personal power, it is hardly a surprise there's sparks!

Emma will never admit it either, but she will remember too what Hank has does here. It would have been an easy thing to claim he couldn't find Emma. To keep the Queen from finding Sharon again as long as he could. That he didn't hesitate to reach out is something that the blond will not forget easily, "Your job." Emma says after a sigh, "Yes, of course. For the sake of all of us here, I'll just accept that you have Sharon's best interests at heart as well. And given our past, I suppose I shouldn't judge you quite so hard. Still, I would have like to know you were coming and what would expected of me before just showing up. None of us enjoy the feeling of being ambushed. It's a common ground we share." She looks back to Catseye, and continues, speaking to Betsy still, "So. You're confident I'm not a threat, then? And you understand that I truly do want to walk a different path than I have in the past. And that in Sharon, I see an opportunity for that?"

"I do what is asked of me, yes. It is a job, though it isn't something I take pay for. I have to have the best interests of all the students, and those who can't read minds at heart. It's part of what I've taken on, to protect them from those who would hurt them - by will or by negligence. As for not knowing I was coming or what would be expected of you, I didn't exactly plan this today, for myself." Indeed, she'd come because Hank had called.

She will slowly withdraw from Emma's mind, a slow blink of violet eyes. "I do. But because of that desire you have for Sharon, you should understand why I do what I must, as well."

With Hank giving her the plate, Catseye won't hesitate to eat what's left of the prosciutto wrapped cheese. It just tastes better in fur-form than in smoothskin. Now fruit, fruit tastes better in half-form or smoothskin. She then rises to her feet, and moves to rub against Emma's side. "Nothing more dangerous than female guarding young." And of course that applies to both women. Catseye licks her lips. "Prosciutto maybe tastier than wildbaar. Maybe." She gives sly, teasing looks to both Hank and Emma, "Need to eat more to decide. May take months. Years."

Hank definitely could have very easily deceived Catseye, avoided Emma, all of it. But that's not who he is. That would have been selfish and manipulative and vile - that's not Norton and Edna McCoy's little boy, no sir, no ma'am, no how. What HE thought didn't matter really, what Catseye -needed- did. Just that simple, it was bad enough he hid his involvement in the takedown of the Academy as long as he did, that's about the limit for him, and he'll -never- do anything like that with her again. Now, he knows that Emma was profoundly affected by the reunion — he saw first hand and unfiltered the woman's true regard for the purple furred feline he's scritching, that sort of thing would be really hard to fake.

"As for the short notice, I apologize deeply to both of you, Miss Frost, Miss Braddock…I should have given more warning and been more explicit about what was to follow, for that I can only beg you both to accept my humblest of apologies. Miss Frost, I assure and give my word that no ambush was meant, and Miss Braddock, I should have been more clear in our conversation, I regret my lapse and any discomfort on /either/ side." One good thing? His regret is something both Omegas can sense and verify.

As Catseye rises and offers diversion, Hank kips to his feet and with another toothy grin at the she-cat fiddles with a device at his belt. *FLOOF!* All the fur, his and hers, no his suit jumps away from him and is gathered into a small mass that he disposes of. SCIENCE! Only Hank McCoy would make a de-shedder device! The comment about the Prosciutto? That draws a warm chuckle from the man. "Years indeed." He looks to the ladies three. "So…shall we repair to the Institute then?"

Emma smirks over at Sharon and then nods at her, "Such wisdom in youth. Such truth." Emma closes her eyes, and takes in a deep breath through her nose, her posture straightening, her composure returning, "So where do we go from there. The past is the past. If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't be here. Even if the past was only moments ago. I've subjected myself to this for what I hope is a reason. I see a path forward. My question for you is, does that path coincide with yours? Trust takes time to build. Even for telepaths. Is the first brick laid, I wonder?"

Betsy will move to lean against a support of the gazebo. "Hank, it's what I do for the Institute." She clearly isn't at all upset with blue and fuzzy. She will offer him a soft, warm smile.

Violet eyes will turn to Emma, brows lifting. "You subjected yourself to the same scrutiny everyone receives, so you can come to the Institute, and if as you say you wish, join the teaching staff. If I didn't trust you, that would have been made clear, and you wouldn't be."

Catseye's purr is a deep rumble in her chest. Then she sighs, "School. Classes. Sit still, stay awake, show your work. Pfeh." She looks up at Emma. "Catseye go if MotherMotherFrost think best." She would be quite happy NOT to have to sit still in smoothskin form for hours at a time, but Emma thinks an education is important so Catseye will work hard in classes if that's what Emma decides is best.

"The past is in the past, let it go." Yes, Hank just quoted Frozen, odds are he didn't even know he did so. A firm nod from the blue and fuzzy one, as differentiated from the purple and fuzzy one. "I think we all see a path forward, now we just need to walk it." He looks relieved and gratified when Betsy doesn't take offense, and then he looks to the pair. "So…with the vetting done, and the seeds of truth sown, I propose we go to the Institute and move forward." Bright blue eyes look to Catseye. "And yes…prove your work. But also make new friends, learn new things, not live in fear or squallor." That gaze shifts to Emma. "I assume that Catseye will ride with you?" And then to Betsy. "May I offer you a lift, dear lady?"

"An education is only one small part of what the institute could offer you, Sharon. A necessary part, surely, but small. What you will learn about what you are, and how to be the best you you can be? That is invaluable. I tried to teach all of you that, once, and failed. I just couldn't offer everything one might need. At the institute? It's quite possible you will find those that can help you in ways I can not, like Doctor McCoy here. I will not deprive you of a chance to be all you can be." Emma takes her flask out again, and takes another swig before she continues on, "Worse case? We decide it's not for us. That we don't belong. And we go our separate ways. But…" she tucks her drink away, "I think we owe it to ourselves to at least try." She nods to Henry then, "I think some catching up is more than in order, for me and Sharon. I assume we can come to the institute later and will not be turned away?"

Betsy Braddock will glance at the flask, though her expression will not alter, and she will not speak about it. "Hank, you're sweet, but I don't need a ride." There's a hint of mischief to her smile, as she moves to step out of the gazebo.

She will turn, looking up at Emma. "Just reach out to me, I will make sure you are both admitted post haste." She will offer, a smile that just lingers. "I need to go speak with Mister Drake, to arrange accomodations, I believe."

Catseye sighs, "And Catseye has not been smoothskin for two wintercold and more. Will need MotherMotherFrost's help. And Clothes." Yet another aggravation! But she doubts this Institute will let her attend classes in furform. So annoying.

"And I can make the security log entries when I get there as well." Hank looks to Emma and smiles. "You are welcome. Both of you." Then he hunkers down to give Catseye a big ole hug around her neck. He doesn't purr, but the hug is friendly, warm and genuine. Good thing he has that de-shedder! When Betsy declines the offered ride she'd possibly sense a flash of disappointment, swiftly smothered as he grins. "Of course you don't. Convey my regards to Mister Drake, Elizabeth." Ooh! LESS formal, that's a start!

With that all said, no doubt the gathering breaks up, each going their separate ways.

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