He wasn't going to lie; her power did sound awful. He had a hard enough time with his own emotions, let alone dealing with everyone else's. [b "Sometimes our mutations feel more like curses. Some people get cool powers, like Storm. Then there's me, who can bring down a stadium if I get too anxious. It's a shittier version of roulette."]
Tristan finished his food and pushed his bowl aside. [b "Being like him isn't necessarily a bad thing. Yeah, Erik's done some awful things in his life. Some of which he's even proud of. But he wasn't born evil. We adapt to the life we're given. We change to survive."] It was a lesson Charles had tried teaching him many times.
[b "If you think I could be of help, I'll come with you to talk to Erik. You're right; I've gone through what his team is facing. It might be of use,"] he stood to wash his dish.
[b "If you'd like, I can show you to a spare bedroom with some extra clothes, if you want to shower and change,"] he offered.
"The red guy was the only one with him...then there was Toad...Most of his people was taken the night of the mob club," Kenna answered slowly, feeling weird for telling most of this. It wasn't her business. Looking to him she gave a thoughtful look before smiling.
"You survived something like that before, right? You got out and all you have is a tremor, that's damn amazing. Maybe that's why you should come. You know what it's like and can do more," she said starting to look for just some soup. Her stomach wasn't her friend at the moment. "I'm an empath who dislikes most humans and even mutants. Knowing what they feel...it's torture...you know..."
She gave a soft laugh. "Maybe I'm a bit like him..."
[b "Charles grew up here. He shared it with his adopted sister, Mistique. You may have seen her with Erik. She's on his side, now. She's the blue one,"] he explained, pulling juice from the fridge. [b "The past couple of years, Charles has turned it into a school for people like us. Some classes are to help us learn to control our abilities. Others are your basic school courses, like English and math. Kind of a mix of everything, really."]
Tristan took a seat at the kitchen island and poured himself a bowl of cereal. [b "It's fine,"] he shrugged off her apology. [b "I'm kind of new to this whole thing anyways, so I'm probably not the best guy for the job. Storm says I'm lucky I haven't killed myself yet, considering how many mishaps I've had. Part of it is due to those experiments."]
He lifted his sleeve and showed his faint Lichtenburg scar on his forearm. [b "You get zapped that many times, as high as they can go? Your nerves are shot, for the most part."]
He watched her carefully. [b "You think Erik would be willing to help us, like he did at the lab?"]
"This place is massive...How did anyone live in here before he opened the school...also...classes?" Kenna asked looking to him curiously. "What sort of classes?"
It wasn't as if she really planned on being one of them or what Erik was either. Fighting for or against humanity, that was what it came to ultimately. "I, uh, should have asked you if you'd come with me to talk to him. Not very good at people despite being an empath..."
Mostly it was blocking it out, but either way.
Charles nodded. [i "We may disagree, but Erik and I worked together to form this team, and I will always hold out hope that he may see the brighter side of life eventually."]
At the mention of her own hunger, Tristan felt his stomach gurgling. Food would be nice. [b "Come with me. I'll show you the kitchen,"] he gestured for her to follow.
The school was busy with activity, but most of the kids were outside on the lawn, taking advantage of the warm weather. [b "It's not always so chaotic. Classes have been cancelled for the day, so everyone is sort of fending for themselves,"] he told her, holding an arm out to stop her before a young teen ran past them and almost bowled them over.
The kitchen is empty, thankfully. He began pulling snacks from cupboards, not entirely sure what would work. [b "If you want a real meal, I can try to cook something. Might not be much good at anything other than grilled cheese though. Fair warning,"] he opened the fridge.
Oh, well, this wasn't a position at all. Even through his carefully trained walls she felt love for this man. Whileas Erik had only deep hatred for him. It was an interesting position. "You still care for him quite a bit...." Kenna said softly before giving an awkward look. "I'm sorry...Uh...okay. I can try but I want him with me. I don't have any of this training yet."
She gestured to Tristan. Erik would understand, or not, either way she didn't want to go out there without protection until she learned more than defensive. Offensive...
"Could I get something to eat? It's been a long, weird...week..." she said rubbing her forehead. These damn headaches would be the end of her.
Charles gave her a small smile. [b "My dear, we aren't here to bully you into submission. You have my word that we will help you, regardless of your decision. We just want you to be aware of all of your options. No matter what you decide at this time, the Institute will remain open for you, should you ever change your mind."]
Tristan grinned to himself over Charles' evident desire to be a good guy. Whatever had gone down on that beach before Erik betrayed them, it was clear that Charles wanted to be the better person, no matter what. [b "She's right,"] he agreed with her statement about Erik's potential interpretation of her coming to them. [b "He doesn't always think rationally."]
Xavier nodded. [i "It's true that he can be stubborn like a mule. However, Kenna, you could have betrayed him thirty times over in the span you've known him. Erik can be lost at times, but he has been quite successful at knowing who can be trusted. Unfortunately, we both have betrayed our trust in one another at some point in our friendship. You, on the other hand,"] he smiled at the girl. [i "You're an outsider, like him. I believe he sees a reflection of himself. And that is why I'm confident that this plan could work."]
Somehow she was in between two powerful adversaries and the position was uncomfortable. What was worse was feeling him somewhere there in her head though. It wasn't often she felt someone in her head, it was one reason she wanted to control her abilities.
"If I say yes or no, you'll still help me?" Kenna asked ignoring the looks from the others. Crossing her arms she wasn't sure what to think or say. "And...he has displaced anger and a lot of it on you. What makes you think that once he hears I'm here? He might think I joined you."
Those mutants though, it still was killing her. Looking to Tristan and Ororo before she gave a soft sigh.
Tristan watched the gears turning in Charles' head. [b "Sir?"] he asked, a warning tone in his voice.
[i "Kenna,"] he began. [i "I understand that all of this might be a bit overwhelming, if not incredibly confusing. And we would never put you in a position that you would not be completely comfortable in. However, you are in a very interesting position."]
The others were now staring at their mentor like he'd grown an extra head. [i "For whatever reason, Erik has put trust in you. And that trust might be just what we need to make sure that no other people are subjected to the cruelty of those labs."]
[b "Do you think he'd actually do it?"] Tristan interjected.
What was going on here? Kenna watched and felt puzzled, attempting to not let herself get overwhelmed. Clearly there was bad blood on both sides but Charles still cared for Erik. She gave the quickest of smiles, since she liked Erik to a point as well.
"Well, it was more like we had a deal. He might be up for listening though considering they have some of his people," Kenna shifted uncomfortably. "He's prickly but he cares about them."
Wait, did that mean she would be in the middle of these two forces? Oh, Christ, that sounded awful. Every part of her wanted to avoid it but it was for a good cause.
Tristan glanced around to find that the others were, in fact, all staring at her like she'd grown a second head. [b "Guys?"] he asked.
Hank was the first to respond, clearing his throat and picking his jaw up off the floor. [i "Sorry, it's just...Erik Lehnsherr, asshole of the year, voluntarily helped her get into the lab. And then stayed to help get you all out. That's a tough image to come up with."]
A faint smile tugged at Charles' lips. [i "He wasn't always pure evil,"] he assured them. [i "He fought beside us once, remember that."]
[i "Literally once. And then he abandoned us on a beach,"] Hank reminded him.
[b "Time out,"] Tristan tapped his hands. [b "Is there a point to what you're saying, sir?"] he looked to Charles.
[i "Clearly, we have to do something about these laboratories. If we don't, thousands of mutants could be at risk for becoming lab rats for scientists."] He paused. [i "If Erik helped Kenna once, there is a possibility that we may be able to request his help again, to destroy the labs."]
Kenna found herself mostly watching and listening as if she was in the front row seat to a movie. It still didn't feel real that this was happening despite the last few days did happen. They were speaking so analytical when it seemed to her it was the opposite.
"How did you find where the lab was at?" Charles finally asked her, folding his fingers together.
"We found an agent, I charmed him and made him think he had to go to the base. The red guy got us past the gate then Erik did the rest up until the neutralizing mutant," Kenna summarized with a shrug. Feeling the skeptical air from them she rose an eyebrow. "Why is everyone so skeptical about that? It happened."
Tristan snapped an elastic around his wrist to keep him grounded - one of Storm's suggestions to focus his attention. [b "They're conducting experiments on an entirely new group. I've never recognized any of the people in there with me. I'm assuming the others died under the strain of the testing. I was the only one who ever successfully escaped."]
Rising to his feet, he began to pace. [b "The mutant who stops powers from working, they're new. The scientists never had those capabilities before. They would just keep us drugged so we couldn't fight back."]
[i "I think we need to focus on the fact that this isn't the only lab like this,"] Scott interjected. [i "We barely found this one, and that's including the help of a tracker."]
[i "A potential advantage for us would be if we could use Cereboro to find the labs. A dense grouping of mutants would indicate such a place. That is, if they don't have other mutants who can void powers. Without the mutations being broadcasted openly for Cereboro to track, we may not get a hit,"] Hank added.
Kenna gave a small nod to everyone there. She wasn't entirely sure about most of this, between Erik, the government, and now this she wasn't sure what to think. Only that Charles was only a few years older than herself it seemed and was in a wheelchair.
"Meeting me? Really?" Kenna asked puzzled. It was almost as if she was something special when she wasn't. "Thanks for saving our asses back there. I didn't tell him, sensing that it was...complicated..."
Then there was the news. There was silence all around as the mutants listened before looking to Tristan.
Ororo frowned but still managed to look calm. "They found a way to further blame us, because we found one of their labs."
"What happened at the lab?" Jean asked puzzled.
"There was a mutant with the ability to nullify powers. The mutant went away as soon as we got closer," Kenna mumbled rubbing her arms. Rather she had to overwhelm it using Erik.
[b "Well whatever the reason is, we can't trust him!"] Tristan blurted out. [b "When has Magneto ever worked in anyone's favor but his own?"]
[i "Let's not immediately jump to conclusions, Mr. Oehler. Our guest has arrived, and it would be best that we get all of the information before we start speculating,"] Charles remained as calm as ever.
[b "Guest?"] Tristan's brow furrowed as he heard the door open.
Kenna entered the room looking no worse for wear, but possibly overwhelmed by the population of the Institute. [i "Welcome, Kenna. I've been looking forward to meeting you. My name is Charles Xavier,"] he greeted her.
Charles gestured to the others around the room. [i "You've met Storm and Tristan. These are some of my other students, Scott Summers and Jean Gray."]
The two mutants gave small greeting waves. Tristan opened his mouth to speak, but was cut off by Hank entering the room. [i "Professor, I think you're going to want to see the news,"] the blue mutant hurried to the tv and turned it on.
Onscreen, several government officials stood at a podium for a press release, reading statements about the riot that had occurred at the club. [b "Well fuck,"] Tristan slumped into a chair, listening as they described the 'dangerous' mutants who caused the fight.
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