(2016-06-23) You're Not From Around Here
You're Not From Around Here
Summary: James Hudson finds himself in a different world and seeks out the X-Mansion. He runs into Rachel Grey, who knows a thing or two about alternate realities.
Date: 2016-06-23
Related: None
NPCs: Random students
Scene Runner: N/A
Social/Plot: Social

Fade in…

The battered harley motorcycle rides over Graymalkin Lane at a casual pace. The driver is a young blond man, wearing shades but not a helmet. A backpack is attached to the back seat. James has been in this strange world for a month or so, but only last weekend it occurred to him to check 'X-Men' in the Internet. So sue him, computers were Kitty's specialty, and he arrived with his clothes and a cell that never ever worked again. He has been busy surviving.

There was a lot of information on the X-Men, mutants, Xavier, a mutant school, Magneto and even Wolverine (an Avenger? Wtf? And now dead, though). Which brings him here, to slow down at the school gates. The Jean Grey school. Even more wtfuckery, which brings a deep frown to his expression.

The stately mansion at 1407 Greymalkin Lane has had many incarnations over the decades that it's stood here, but all of those incarnations have had one thing in common: Eventually, they all got blown up sooner or later, often by uninvited callers.

That being the case, it's probably not a surprise that the mansion has a security system that's comfortably beyond the state of the art, installed to hopefully prevent the place getting blown up yet again. As the motorcyclist pulls up to the gates, he's scanned by a battery of unobtrusive sensors and a message is sent to the staff member on duty. Which in this case is Rachel Grey, who's just gotten through teaching a particularly trying class on psychic self-defence. It didn't help that the students were hopeless and patience… well, she's never had very much patience. She's escaped to the grounds to get some distance from the constant background roar of the students' minds when she's pinged by the security system. Rachel grimaces, then takes a slow, calming breath. "I need a new job." She tells herself, quickly checking the nature of the alert, then stretching out telepathically toward the main gates. "Let me guess. Hank ordered something and forgot to book it in…"

Rachel's words tail off as she scans the presence outside the gates, and instantly tags them as a mutant. "Or not." She says to herself, turning smartly on her heel and taking a couple of steps toward the gates. By the third she's in the air, and it's a matter of moments only before she reaches the gates - although she lets herself down to approach on foot.

Triggering the release telekinetically, the gates swing open so that she can breeze through without slowing, studying the guy on the bike as she does so. She's given herself a quick telekinetic makeover during the flight, and her teaching gear has been replaced with a spiked, black leather jacket, a red top with a stylised bird-shape picked out in gold, tight jeans and boots. There's an unusual tattoo-pattern on her face that matches her formal surroundings even less than her jacket does. Her eyes narrow slightly as she sees him frown, but she's more curious than wary. "Hi. I'm Rachel Grey. Can I help you?"

James is quite aware of most of the sensors, but he doesn't care too much. He is not trying to be sneaky, he is on a rather noisy bike. Of course he also spots the redheaded woman right away, along with several of the kids outside and inside. A good number of scents too, none of which means anything to him. The alien-looking buildings inside, one of which is floating, are pretty weird. And the ground smells alive?

The redheaded catches his attention quickly, though. Because… redheads. But also because she looks like so much like someone he knows. As she comes closer, and speaks, the blond man pulls off his sunglasses and gives her a once over. "You look a lot like Jean Grey, guess this is her school?" He tilts his head towards the sign at the side of the gate. "I am Jim. James Hudson. Wolverine."

Rachel's not exactly peeking inside their visitor's head. Not exactly. But she's not trying to block out any telepathic impressions she gets from their visitor either. So the sunglasses don't exactly hide the fact that she's got his attention. Or that he finds her familiar. Curiouser and curiouser, Rachel thinks to herself as she draws to a halt just by the front wheel of his bike. When the sunglasses come off and the guy looks her over, Rachel lets one of her eyebrows quirk upwards. He seems like a cocky one, but she doesn't mind much. "I get that a lot." Rachel remarks, lightly, but there's a faintly pleased look on her face when she says it all the same. A quickly hidden grin accompanies her next words. "And good guess." So far he hasn't really satisfied her curiosity, but since the alternative is going back to teaching classes for the rest of the day, she's happy to play along.

His introduction sends a second eyebrow to join the first. And a quick, subtle telepathic scan to determine that he's telling the truth, or at least thinks he is. "Uh huh." She says. "I don't know how to tell you this, Jim, but I've met the original, and you're too young." The grin appears again, spreading slowly across her expression, and this time it sticks around. "Better looking, though." Rachel tilts her head to one side, studying Jim for a couple of seconds before she speaks again. "Want to tell me the story. I'd invite you in…" She shrugs, "But some of Logan's unfinished business isn't child friendly, and I'm not sure what kind you are yet."

"Yeah, funny that," the young man kills the engine and pushes down the kickstand, then slides off the motorcycle and walks closer to Rachel. "As I remember it my father, old James Howlett, has been dead almost five years. But the news say it was just a few months ago."

Rachel gives way enough to make room for Jim to get off his motorcycle easily, and watches him do it. Turnabout is, after all, fair play. She doesn't back off when he approaches. She's not picking up anything that suggests hostile intent from him, and she's still curious. She lets him talk, and moves to stand beside him when he looks at the school, no longer barring his way. She follows his eyes, her mind automatically overlaying what she sees with the school she knew before she went into space, and then her hazy memories of the school as it looked in her own time. She blinks the vision away when, just for an instant, her memories betray her and nothing but ruins stand before her.

Rachel turns her head to look at Jim in profile. "Well." She says at length. "You're taking this a hell of a lot better than I did." The amused tone from before has vanished from her voice, and there's now a serious look in her eyes. "The school's looked like that for a while now. And Logan hasn't been dead five years." She's being direct, but there's a touch of sympathy in her voice. "At least, he hasn't here. But either you're really confused…" For an instant, it looks like there's a flicker of light, deep in Rachel's eyes, "…and you're not, or you're not from around here. Am I close?" She asks the question as if she already knows the answer, but her expression softens a bit when she continues. "If it helps, I don't think you're crazy. I'm not exactly from around here either." She flashes that grin again. "Or did you think my mom just looked really good for her age?"

"I guess I am not," admits James. "I met some mutants from other… hrm, other Earth. Including another Jean Grey that was still a teenager." So the idea of parallel Earths is not entirely alien to him. Still rather disturbing. He looks at Rachel again. "Jean is your mother? Well. Good to know. You got all the good genes, didn't yah?" The Jean he remembers and flashes through her memory vividly, was definitely not old enough. In fact, she was only a couple years older than him, and had short hair, and usually went around baring her midriff. In fact, she looked and dressed much more like Rachel than the older Jean Grey she knew here.

Rachel's prepared to let Jim speak, to come to terms with the reality that he's switched times, or dimensions, or whatever. She's remembering how she took that little revelation, so long ago, and she's prepared to help… only to discover that he doesn't need it. She's actually a bit miffed that he's handling it so well, although she does her best to keep it off her face. It's not his fault she was a basket case when she got here, after all!

"Not that Jean." She tells him, when the image of the Jean Grey of his world flashes across his surface thoughts. "But close enough." She smiles, and touches her temple. "Sorry. I got ALL the good genes, not just the ones you can see. Your memories… they're pretty strong. I'm picking things up without trying." Rachel looks away, back toward the school again, and comes to a decision. "Come on." She says, taking a step towards the gates, then turning around and jerking her head toward the school. "If you're not going to freak out or run away - all of which I did when I got here, by the way - I'll buy you lunch and we can compare notes." A slightly impish look appears on her features. "I'll have to cancel my classes. You'll be doing me - and the kids - a favour."

"Yeah. Stay out of my head," replies the young man, squinting his eyes. He also guarded his thoughts like he was taught to do by that other Jean. "I don't freak out, but I don't really have any business her, do I? I was just curious." On the other hand. "School teacher… you don't look like any school teacher I have seen. Lady, If my school teachers looked like you I wouldn't have skipped any class. Ever." But he goes to pick up the motorcycle while Rachel opens the doors, "not making them any favors."

Well some things never change. "Sure. Just don't think so loud." Rachel doesn't sound remotely contrite, because she isn't. Logan had a nasty habit of making enemies, and Rachel's too much of a pragmatist not to use her telepathy to make sure she isn't letting one in amongst the students. When the local telepathic 'noise' suddenly recedes, Rachel looks at Jim, tilts her head to one side, squints a bit, then nods. "Better. Your technique's not bad."

Some OTHER things never change either, and Rachel laughs. "You should see the rest of the staff. I'm one of the normal ones." Her grin is verging on the wicked, and she clearly doesn't consider herself to be all that normal. "And you haven't taken one of my classes. Trust me, you'd try to escape soon enough." Telekinetically triggering the gates again, Rachel walks though, still looking back over her shoulder to chat. "Besides, teaching just… happened. It wasn't exactly something I planned." She frowns lightly as she looks at the bike, then lifts off the ground. "Ride it. I'll keep up."

"Lady, there is a flying building there and the ground is alive," replies James, pulling in his bike with ease. "I don't think normal applies, which is fine for me." At her offer, he climbs up into the bike and turns on the engine again. It is a short ride to the school door, but the day is too warm to walk. "I don't believe a word of what you said," he adds with a smirk.

The ground is alive. That gets a swift, sharp look from Rachel. "So you got the good genes too." It's less a question than an observation. Seems there's some of Logan in him after all. Useful to know. Rachel lets the bike catch up to her position and then hovers alongside it - keeping out of the way of the exhaust fumes - maintaining station however fast he decides to ride. Behind them, the gates quietly swing shut again. "Sign up as a mature student and try me." She challenges, not remotely serious. Well, mostly not serious.

Once the bike's stowed somewhere it won't obstruct the driveway, Rachel leads the way into the mansion proper, shooing a few terminally curious students out of the way. Locating an unused sitting room, she ushers him inside, then stares at the door for a second or two before smiling. "That should keep the students from getting too nosy." She says with satisfaction. Turning around and leaning back against the door, she asks, "Any requests? We could have gone to the dining room, but I hate being the centre of attention."

"Sure, what do you teach?" No, he has no intention to get back to school, but the conversation is amusing. Stepping inside, James looks around with curiosity, mentally making comparisons. The students also get glances back. No one he knows, but definitely more students than the rebuilt school had back in his own world.

But Utopia had been a harsh lesson of self-reliance. Not many mutants wanted to live in a school. Hell, he was there mostly because of Kitty. "Any request?" What could he ask about? Er… that didn't get him a slap from the redhead. "Not sure. What can you tell me about this place that is not in the webpage or the Wikipedia?"

"Something you wouldn't like. Psychic self-defence." Rachel's not quite ready to let the 'stay out of my head' comment go, but her tone's not particularly serious, and she adds a shrug. "I didn't have what you'd call a conventional upbringing. I let the guys who were still in school at fifteen teach the academic subjects." It doesn't sound like that bothers her much, either. She shoots a quick look back at James, noticing his interest in his surroundings, but stays quiet. It's probably a lot to adjust to.

Rachel offers a slow nod and a faintly quizzical expression when James ponders her question. Out of everything, she hadn't expected that to throw him. "I meant for lunch. I offered, remember?" Rachel reminds him, then looks thoughtful as she considers his question. "Probably quite a lot." She admits, but she doesn't seem immediately inclined to share. Instead she straightens up from her comfortable slouch against the door and walks over to him. "But I think I'll start by telling you you're wrong, about what you said earlier. That you don't have any business here." She pauses, wanting to find the right words, but then just smiles impishly. "If you're Logan's son, from this world or any other, you're part of this place. You should stick around for a while, you might like it." Rachel nods to one of the well stuffed couches. "At least sit down. I'll be back with a sandwich or something. You might have forgotten lunch, but I haven't." With that, Rachel turns and walks back to the door, hesitating with her hand on the doorknob, "Don't go away." She tells him over her shoulder, flashing a quick grin. "Or I'll hunt you down."

"Eh? I can make my own sandwiches," protests James. "Just point me the way to the kitchen." Besides, he is not going to stay in a room when there are some odd places to explore. Let her hunt him down, if she can. "As for my business, we'll see…" he doesn't have any place to go, after all. But he is vaguely uncomfortable by the weird familiarity/unfamiliarity factor of this strange school.

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