2020-02-25 - Food Therapy


A still mildly depressed Hank McCoy treats depression by…baking. Rogue, Lin Li and Dani are the first to benefit!

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Feb 25 02:45:58 2020
Location: Institute - Cafeteria

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Theme Song



Partly cloudy, the weather is actually warm - just over forty-four in Westchester County. That said, Hank's mood? Overcast with a chance of doldroms.

Most probably wouldn't even know he's fuzzy again, and with all the cosmetic changes to fur and especially his eyes - well, might think he's a /different/ big, fuzzy, blue guy? Okay, not so likely.

Especially when one considers how he deals with the depression - he's BAKING.

Now, there is a reason that the word BAKING is in caps - he's been at it for hours, and the kitchen, the entire countertop is /covered/ in baked goods.

Brownies. Five types of cookies - sugar, chocolate chip, snikcker-doodles, oatmeal and shortbread. Two pies - apple with salted caramel and lots of cinnamon, and blue berry, because he likes blueberries! There's scones, cannolis, and…at the moment, he's in the process of frosting not only cupcakes, but cinnamon rolls.

That is some EPIC depression to mandate that much sugar.

Lin has caught up on sleep after yesterday's events and taken the day off from work. She is worried about Hank, having been able to sense a good deal of his mood before and knowing her words weren't able to offer the comfort she'd hoped. Stupid words. They never work the way she needs them to. She wishes everyone communicated in what she considers the "normal" way. Lin knows though that people aren't aware of that ways existence, let alone be able to use it.

After some serious thinking she'd decided to try a present. Presents are supposed to make people happy, right? So she has observed and been told. It took some time to find the right gift, and more time to convince the maker of the gift to open it, replace the lame surprise within with her own offering and then put it all back together. She has neither the time nor the type of intelligence required for opening a complicated puzzlebox. She thinks Hank will like it though. He was so good with his hands building that shelter model.

So here she is now, wandering through the mansion in search of his mental presence. "Oh." Lin sighs softly. No, he does not seem happier. Also something smells fantastic. Her stomach rumbles. She's forgotten to eat again. Lin hurries towards the kitchen, her satchel dangling loosely from one hand. A small brightly colored snake is curled around her neck, its head peeking over her sweater to eye its surroundings.

Alas, Hank is not the only X-er that is not themselves lately. Unlike the big blue brain, Rogue has been moody before, many times. But this is different. This isn't from inside her head, one of the shards she's fused into who she is. This is external. There is a lack of Cajun, and has been for some time - the lake house is empty, and so is the pantry, other than cat food she makes sure to have for Henry.

Her hair pulled back in a low ponytail, she's wearing a t-shirt that wasn't originally hers, and a pair of well worn jeans with a pair of beat up boots. There's no pluck to the belle, no pizzazz - definitely cloudy with a chance of weight gain.

Dani walks in, wearing just a Xavier Institute Athletics T-shirt and jeans at the moment. She doesn't look that depressed, but she's been missing someone special a bit too, so she doesn't look that cheerful either.

But the smells from the kitchen were hard to miss, so she popped in and blinked in surprise, "Hey, Doctor McCoy, what's all this?" She sounds a little curious, glancing over at Rogue and Lin as she hasn't really seen them before either.

The last bit of white icing on the last cinnamon roll, and then Hank looks to the antlered girl with living jewelry. "Coral snakes are rather dangerous, you know." He observes. "I assume you'll make sure your friend doesn't bite anyone who doesn't provoke it first, mm, Lin Li?"

Still, he smiles welcome to her.

The man has actually been here for half the day with /this/ much baking going on.

Nostrils flare when Rogue enters, and is…dull, listless even, and sighs very faintly. "Hello Rogue." He moves over and it might be then she notices just how /different/ Hank is. He's furry again, but where the fur used to be sleek, and lighter blue his pelt is now thick, and dark. His claws are much more pronounced, and his maw sports some very serious fangs. The part that's probably most different, however, isn't any of that - it is the bright yellow eyes.

And then enter the Moonstar, and SHE too is looking down. This is clearly not a banner day for X-mental health.

"Hello Dani, would you be kind enough to get the iced cream out of the freezer?" After all, who doesn't love cookies and ice cream? "This? This is me…distracting myself a bit."

In all her planning, Lin did not stop to consider that she'd likely be meeting other people.. Normal people. She visibly braces herself and then smiles shyly. "hi." The antlered asian woman is wearing a black denim jacket, a dark green button up sweater and brown jeans. Her feet are clad in leather boots. She sets her satchel on the counter and takes a seat, tucking her scaly friend back under the collar of her jacket. People find snakes alarming for some reason she doesn't understand. Especially the poisionous ones. Hers won't hurt anyone but better they don't notice she figures.

That done, Lin turns her attention to array of baked goods and blinks. "wow." She doesn't cook. Wouldn't even know where to start. So she's incredibly impressed by Hank's prowess in the kitchen. "Amazing." Her expression is one of awe. This is a woman who says exactly what she means and clearly has no clue how to hide what she is thinking or feeling. Oooh no. He spotted her friend. "He won't harm anyone." Lin promises. Animals do what she wants always. Unless she's being attacked…then she may not have a say in their actions. "Just wanted to be warm and wasn't getting along with the other."

Lin takes the opportunity to look around at the other woman. She can't feel their emotions like she can Hank's and she's so not an expert in people behavior but even she can sense the low mood. Yikes. She sneaks a cinnamon roll and ponders how to help. Ice cream? Lin's eyes widen. Her favorite.

"HEy there, Real McCoy." Rogue mumble drawls, before she looks up from some of the fragrant goods on the counter. Green eyes lift, taking in the returned, changed fur, the bright yellow eyes. There's just a blink, a faint widening of eyes, before she will just move in and hug the big guy. She'll press her face to his chest, without another word. Hank's never been afraid of her, and she sort of needs that kind of comfort currently.

She will take a long moment to nod to Dani and the young woman she doesn't know. "We expecting company, Doc?" She will linger a moment, before she'll pull back.

Dani grins over at Lin, catching the expression at the mention of ice cream, "Yeah, we got some cinnamon ice cream, mint chocolate chip, and… oooh, fudge marshmallow swirl?" She hmms, and looks over at the baking spread Hank has, then shakes her head, "I'm gonna be doing double time on Brightwind after this, but… worth it." She smiles over at Lin, and offers the woman her hand, "Hey, I'm Dani. And… ooh, he's a delightful little fellow." She glances down at the snake and seems to say something silently to the snake, who nods their head in response.

"Oh, I suspected that was the case, Lin Li. Forgive me if I gave the impression your friend was unwelcome."

People DO find super-venomous serpents a bit off putting in a lot of cases, silly people!

The fact he's got company seems to help a bit, and their obvious delight really helps. Yup, the fact others feel well, appreciate what he's been doing for half the day, /that/ helps his mood a lot. He smiles to the girl. "Sit, eat. I'll make some coffee too…" And then Rogue is hugging him.

It is very true that Hank has not ever feared her powers, even when she /was/ unable to control it reliably. Massively furred arms encircle the southern belle as she hugs him, and he rests his cheek against his friend's hair whilst he does. A soft laugh. "Nope, just…wanted for something to do and did not feel up to SCIENCE! at the moment." Which statement should be shocking.

"Ah, Danielle Moonstar, Rogue, this is Lin Li, she was a student here years ago, newly returned. Lin Li, Rogue and Dani."

Lin's eyes go absolutely huge as Dani communicates with her snake. That has never happened! She gasps delightedly and smiles without the shyness. Hastily swallowing the last bite of roll she says. "I am glad to mee you Dani!" And the ice cream, all the ice cream. She feels bad that she is so happy now and everyone else seems sad. She kinda wishes she'd brought a box of puppies. Or that baby hippo. Those are adorable. Not doable in the cold though. She is glad Hank introduces her, talking to people is still hard for her.

Lin seizes on the slight shift in Hank's mood. "It's grand! I don't cook. I eat what is given. Worms and shoots, leaves and berries and sometimes meat or bugs. Mother Earth provides." She smiles. "This stuff though, so very good." She whispers softly "Better than honey whisky." She's on her third cookie at this point. Very much appreaciating that he spent all day cooking. "Nice to meet you too Rogue." Lin remembers her manners. :Oh..I uhm..didn't know there would be others." She'd expected to find Hank in his lab. "I got this for you." She puzzles a very complicated looking japanese puzzle box from her satchel and slides it towards Hank. After thinking for a moment she looks around, finds a pair of empty glasses and fills them half full with water. Its a few moments work to transform some seeds from a packet in her satchel into two large boquets of wildflowers for Rogue and Dani. She sets one in front of each of the women and then returns to her sit blushing and fiddling with another cinnamon roll.

Rogue manages to lift a hand to wave, just …looking at the snake. She's not the type to run and scream, having hunted snakes when she was a wee tomboy back home. She will shift some things, so she can take up a seat on a counter like a completely uncivilized belle after she snags a cinnamon roll to slowly pick apart and eat. Hank probably felt she's a bit…thinner than she had been before the holiday. That inner light and mischief is just super dim, at the moment.

She stares a long moment at the sudden appearance of flowers. "That's a neat talent."

Dani grins, "Very nice, thank you!" She smiles with genuine appreciation at Lin, "I can communicate with animals, so that's one of my talents." She then glances over at Rogue, giving her a friendly nod as well, "Call me Dani, resident Valkyrie, among other things." A bit of a wry look at that, as well… there is a reason that there's been a winged stallion occasionally seen in the stables.

The puzzle box is accepted with a surprised look, and then a brighter smile for Lin. "I love puzzles." After all, he IS a scientist! Figuring things out, solving conundrums is essentially his stock in trade! "Thank you, Lin Li, that was very thoughtful." He definitely noticed the communication between snake and Valkyrie, and is acutely aware of Lin Li's praise.

And yes, he DID notice that Rogue's lost some weight, and he has a really good idea why, not like he wouldn't notice the lack of the Cajun. Moving around the counter, he leans against it next to the girl's leg, massive arms crossed over even more massive chest.

"Oh my stars and garters, I completely didn't even consider who knew who, forgive me that I didn't make the introductions sooner." Hank states when Dani introduces herself to Rogue.

Lin looks at Rogue for an equally long moment. She blushes at Dani "Thank you." She smiles again at both of them. They probably has no idea how much the praise means to her. She doesn't really have human friends. It's something she's trying to learn how to do since getting back. Hopefully this is another good start. "Nature Girl." Lin rolls her eyes slightly but then smiles again. It does fit. All things belonging to Mother Earth respond to her call and she is one with them as they are her. All except for humanity and that which is a puzzle Lin has not yet managed to solve. She often thinks that it is a good thing though.

"I can too." is what Lin says aloud. "Animals, plants, the earth. Heal them, soothe them, make them grow. Work the weather too a little. Never met anyone else that could animal talk." She's happy about this if the light in her eyes is any indication. "I work in Central Park, making it healthy and good." She's also going to save the city a ton of money being able to do the work of a legion of park workers and experts all on her own and in a lot of cases better, since she knows exactly what needs done and has better and faster ways of doing it. It's hard work and exhausting but it's giving her something to do that she enjoys. She flushes happily when Hank seems to enjoy her present. She just hopes he likes whats inside the puzzle as much.

Rogue leans forward to rest the side of her head on Hank's shoulder. "Hmm? Oh. You know me, Hank. I've not always been the most social mutant. People can be here weeks, months, and never meet me." She will slowly unwind that cinnamon roll bit by bit, slowly chewing each piece. "I'm just Rogue." That's it. That's her name, as far as pretty much anyone knows. " I don't do anything neat with plants or animals or anything. I'm just a mechanic."

Dani shrugs, "Well, considering I can't really do anything mechanical, that's pretty amazing to me, Rogue." She smiles over at Lin, "And well, that's really cool. I tend to take Brightwind to Central Park quite a bit. Had a fair amount of things to do in New York, especially at the Embassy." She pauses, and gives Rogue another concerned glance, flickering a gaze over towards Hank.

Oh, Hank will very much enjoy solving the puzzle, indeed, even as Rogue leans against his furry shoulder, he is idly studying the thing. He shifts to accommodate Rogue's leaning, he'll even shift a hand to rest on the counter behind her so she can relax. And then he starts working the puzzle with one hand.

A guy that beefy should NOT command that much manual dexterity, he uses his claw tips with nigh surgical precision as he works at and solves it in about a minute, whatever is inside spilling out into his hand much to his surprise.

"No, you haven't been." He picks up the conversation seamlessly. "But that doesn't mean you can't be, you know. There are many people here who care for you." And he knows that Remy had to go for some very compelling, likely VERY personal reason, possibly even a debt or some deep shame.

He smiles. "And I bake." Hank comments. "ESPECIALLY when it is warm out, now." My goodness - a quip! That's more like it.

"I can't even drive." Lin admits, giving Rogue a look of admiration. "If it weren't for these." She gestures at her antlers. "I doubt anyone here would remember me. I never spoke and spent all free time outside." She would occasionaly follow me behind or near a group of students but not really close enough to fit in or be a part of things. Lin smiles at Dani. "The park is great." She slides some cookies and one of the ice creams towards Rogue unobtrusively. She hopes. Her eyes widen as she watches Hank.

Either the puzzleman lied or he's just that good. She figures Hank is just that good. What falls into his hand is a mixture of various uncut gems. All blues and yellows. Probably a small fortunes worth once they are cut and polished. Lin looks nervous now. She had not expected him to solve it so fast or while she was still here. Still, she smiles at Hank's quip. "I uhm. I find those, shinies. Well, they tell me where they are." She explains. "I don't need much. Thought maybe you'd like." It's also a subtle encouragement about his new look.

"Well, when I was younger, it was just… safer to be anti-social. For me, for them, blah blah blah." A hand gestures away from herself as she finishes off that cinnamon roll. "If I don't come near people, people couldn't acccidentally touch me, and hurt me or them." Of course, she thought that problem had been mostly solved. Though she's been nervous lately, worried that all these blues were going to undo her tentative grip on things.

"Mechanic meant people didn't try to shake my hand. I can't hurt an engine by touchin' it." Rogue explains. There's a faint little hmming sound. "Pretty little shinies." She murmurs to Hank, at the glitters in his hand. She will move to slide off the counter. "You mind if I take some of the goodies back to the lakehouse, Hank? I uh.. have a bare pantry, at te moment." She knows the big guy will say yes, even as she gets a plate out to fill up.

Dani hmms, "Well, if you don't mind… I'd like to take some to the Asgardian Embassy. They'd love these, I'm sure." She grins and looks over at Rogue, "Though, well, I could give you a hand with some of that, if you want? I mean, if you wanted to have some company anyway."

She then smiles at Lin, "Yeah, I don't drive either. I just ride my horse, which gets me where I need to go." She grins and gathers up a few things for herself. And the other Asgardians. And maybe a few more for her. There does seem to be plenty!

Hank blinks several times at the raw and uncut stones. "Lin Li, this is…far too much." Eyes of yellow are shocked, and then he carefully sets the puzzle aside, and the stones are held in his overlarge palm. " Hank very carefully puts the stones back in the puzzle, for the moment, and then helps people get their care packages sorted out. "Of course you can, Rogue." He laughs then as Dani also wants some. As the Valyrie departs, he slips an apple - a HUGE Jonagold - into her pocket. "For Brightwind."

He hugs Rogue firmly as she makes her escape, and then will happily make sure that Lin Li gets to try each and every treat he's fashioned.

He can tell the girl is a bit uncomfortable around people, in truth it is a delaying tactic because in a school — this many baked goods WILL draw hordes, and that gives Hank the perfect venue to have them meet the shy girl with the antlers.

That's the sort of thing that makes him happy - helping others, being a good host, being a good friend.

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