(2016-07-08) A Taste of The Mundane
A Taste of The Mundane
Summary: Jean takes her daughter Rachel for a very mundane evening at Harry's Hideaway, because for X-Men like them, those are the cherished moments. Along the way they meet Tanya, a kindling of hope that some progress is being made. That the Xavier's Dream matters.
Date: 2016-07-08
Related: None
Scene Runner: N/A
Social/Plot: Social

There were a lot of catching up to do since Jean's return, she never really managed to get 'alone' time, so to speak, with her daughter. Today was the lucky day, she and Rachel are walking into Harry's, stopping a moment at the doorway as Jean turns to Rachel, "what's your pick, booth or the bar?" It's not all about saving the universe (or destroying it), sometimes there's time for some food and drink too!

To say that Rachel's happy to have Jean back would be quite an understatement, but the last time the younger redhead can remember the two of them actually having time to talk to one another… was an age ago, on Muir Island, in the driving rain. A lot has happened since then, between one or the other of them dying or being lost in the timestream, enough that Rachel actually felt a touch of nerves when Jean suggested they get out of the Mansion.

Not that it stopped her agreeing to the idea almost instantly.

It feels slightly unreal, walking into Harry's with Jean, without the fate of the universe on the line, but Rachel could get used to it. "Bar, for now?" Rachel decides. She'd actually quite like to hide away in a booth and just talk, but… she might need a drink or two, as Jean can probably sense.

That evening, Tanya ends her shift at a new place. She'd been in the neighborhood by being sent out on-call, and the dirty and battered old Chevy she drove sits outside, probably a beacon, considering the neighborhood. Dark blue, with the Mack and Co. logo and such on the side on magnet signs. Well, she'd have showed up in her Rolls, but she doesn't /have/ a Rolls.

Snickering to herself at her stupid joke, she clomps into the place, feeling relatively right at home despite never having been there before. A bar's a bar, really, even if it's close to ritzier kinds of people than she's use to. As such, she sidles right up to the bar, pulling her wallet out of her left hip pocket to fish the I.D. out. Never let the bartender do that mental dance of trying to decide whether to ask for the card or not.

"Beer, domestic, something that ain't gon'a get me messed up," she says pleasantly as she slips into a stool.

"The bar it is," Jean says at Rachel's somewhat indecisive reply, she's not sure whether it's because Rachel think Jean would have preferred a booth or not, but she has the courtesy not to find out for herself, or ask. "You know, sometimes, I wish we had more time for this type of thing…it almost feels more nervous when everything is normal, isn't it?" Jean shares some of her own feelings with Rachel, as she moves towards the bar, sitting one stool apart from Tanya to allow her some space. "I can't even remember the last time I've been to Harry's, so happy to see it's still here." A constant in an otherwise tumultous life.

She gives Tanya a friendly nod of acknowledgement, before turning to look at Rachel again, her eyes appear serene and happy to look at her daughter. She's interrupted momentarily when Harry moves to ask for orders, "yeah, it's been a while, Harry," she says with a grin at the bartender, who has the courtesy not to ask if she wasn't supposed to be dead. "I'll have a guinness."

"Yes." Rachel doesn't sound indecisive at all, right at that moment, and there's some feeling - and some amusement - in her voice when she speaks. "We don't get enough practice at normal. Sometimes I think I'd like more…" Rachel smiles, "…but normal doesn't get me out of teaching." She follows Jean to the bar, finding a stool of her own, then double-takes when she sees Tanya. "Tanya?" Rachel greets the other woman, her lips curving into a grin as she makes a great play of glancing around Harry's. "No TJ today? Should I worry what she's up to if you're not keeping an eye on her?"

Belatedly remembering her manners, Rachel quickly gets the introductions out of the way. "Jean, meet Tanya. I ran into her the other day with Illyana. Tanya, Jean. She's…" Rachel glances at Jean, not having thought that far before she opened her mouth.

"…oh, hey, shit, hey," Tanya says to the other women, rubbing her right-hand fingers through her hair as she spins the stool to her left. "Wasn't thinkin'; end'a the shift an' all. Should'a recognized ya, from—yeah. Anyways, hey!" She leans over a bit, to offer her right hand to the other women for a handshake, the kind that's firm without being bone-crushing. "Tanya Li, mechanic, chatterbox, an' bit'a trouble-maker, but hey."

She knows too well that half of her problems in life are her own damned making, that her "grab life by the dan" philosophy generally gets her into more crap than it gets her out of. Still—it works often enough to continue being worth it.

"I'll agree with you there, Ray," Jean chuckles, amused by the comment about the teaching, "so you've become a full fledged teacher, huh? Take after your mom? Or entirely because you wanted to do it?" Jean asks, letting the question linger a moment.

When Rachel acknowledges the woman next to them, she asks, "is she a friend of yours Rachel?" Turning once again to reconsider Tanya. "Oh…a friend of Illyana's then? I take it she likes the goth types?" Jean muses, before extending a hand towards Tanya, "I'm Jean, pleased to meet you Tanya." Jean stifles a laugh, as she nods at Tanya's words, "no lie about the chatterbox, that's for sure."

Rachel takes the offered hand with a smile. "Hey." She quickly looks back toward Jean with a swift shake of her head. "Not exactly. A friend of TJ's…" A thought occurs to Rachel. "Kurt's daughter? Kind of? I'm not sure you've met." Rachel shrugs. Explanations will have to wait, and at least Jean has some passing familiarity with weird family situations. "TJ decided to jump off a building, playing air guitar, while Illyana and I were passing. It's the kind of thing she does." Rachel adds the last bit with a smirk and a rueful look toward Tanya.

Ordering something cold and in a bottle, Rachel finally gets around to answering Jean's earlier question. "I'm teaching at the school." She says, a bit noncommittally, and shakes her head. "I tried taking after my mom." Rachel remarks, in a slightly conspiratorial tone, as she feeds an image into Jean's mind - Rachel, in her take on the classic Marvel Girl costume. "I wasn't much good at it." Again, she sounds a bit rueful. "Teaching just… happened. After all that time 'away', I just wanted to come back to the school." She shrugs. "I'm not exactly the kids' favourite. If you want the job back, it's yours!"

At the reminder about theencounterwith T.J. that day, Tanya grins and bobs her head a couple of times. That wasinteresting. Veryinteresting. Though she's already very much learning that Teej basically lives forand in"interesting". As the conversation moves back to this school of theirs, she turns a little to pick up her wallet, fishing out a ten-spot for the beer, then the wallet gets put away while she grabs said beer.

"Which school's this, if y'don't mind me askin?" she asks conversationally as she looks back to the others. It's probably quite clear even /without/ telepathy involved that she wonders if it's the Professor Somebody-she-doesn't-remember School for Mutants. And she also thinks one of her mutant co-workers was thinking about trying to go there, though she never did find out what happened, there. Though it's also a neat place, and one of the reasons her boss is staunch and vocal about being anti-Friends of Humanity.

Jean shakes her head, looking curiously at Rachel, "I did not know Kurt had a daughter, is she…from now?" Jean asks a question that to others might sound odd, yet Rachel is probably the perfect person to understand on the spot without any elaboration. When Rachel shares the telepathic image with her, Jean laughs light heartedly and reaches to embrace her daughter, "oh my god, you have no idea how flattered I am, and how much I love you!"

Lifting up her Guinness, Jean turns to Tanya, "so then, seeing as we're all friends here, how about a toast? Happiness, health, and a little bit of mundane in all the chaos…" when Tanya asks about the school, she does mention, "Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters." She then turns to look at Rachel, "or is it Institute for Higher Learning these days?"

"Not exactly." Rachel hedges. "She's not exactly from around here, either." It's not that far removed from her own situation, only TJ seems to handle it better than Rachel ever did. Not that she's jealous. She is a bit surprised when Jean hugs her, but she doesn't pull away, and she's only slightly hesitant in returning the swift embrace. Jean's flattered, and she loves her? Rachel hasn't had many better days than this in quite a while. "Thanks." Is really all she can say to Jean, although she's laughing too. Of course, since Tanya didn't get the mental image… "Sorry. Family." Rachel tells her with a quick grin. After all, if she can handle TJ, Rachel's sure she can handle a couple of redheads acting slightly weird.

And because Rachel's a telepath, and can multitask, she adds just a little more to Jean, privately. « It seemed like the right thing to do, when you were… gone. » There's a bit of emotion there, so Rachel covers it by adding, « Until I had to go hand to hand with Viper wearing it, anyway. »

When Jean releases her, Rachel takes up her own drink, smirking a bit at Jean's confusion. "This week?" She asks, in an ironic tone. "Whatever we're calling it, it's the big, slightly weird, school on Greymalkin Lane." If that doesn't identify it for Tanya, nothing will.

As much of a chatterbox as Tanya isand she's the first to say she's a pretty big oneeven she's having trouble keeping track of the bouncing conversation. Teej's bouncing was simply physical and not something that needed to be kept track of with much mental energy. At least she manages to catch onto the school being probably the one she was thinking of. Somewhere in there she thought she heard something along the "/really/ not from around here" line, which makes her think of the handful of people she knows aren't even from this dimension—Wonder Man, Tony Stark, Pepper, James Rhodey, a long list of much more relatively unknown people…

"TheI forget, actually, name'a the street," she says as she lifts her beer bottle in something of a mock-salute. "But if that's the mutant onecool deal. Need more places like that, I think." Another, less "mock", salute, then she takes a deep swig of her beer. While looking on from an outsider's perspective, she has to think things like Sentinels and Mutant Registration and all that crap is—well, crap. There need to be more safe places for mutants to let people see humongous robots isn't the answer.

«That is a touching gesture, I am honored you've done so,» Jean replies to Rachel while looking away from her and back towards Tanya, hoping she didn't mind her shared embrace with Rachel. «Oh? Hand in hand? With Viper? Is that a story I really want to her? Or really don't want to hear?» Private talks while in a crowd, the world of telepaths people!

Rising her glass, Jean takes a long sip from her Guinness, getting herself a bit of a foamy moustahce for a moment or two, before licking it clean.

There's a lot going on around Rachel - and deciding to attempt two conversations at once hasn't helped - but the younger redhead still picks up on how easily Tanya takes Rachel's slightly oblique reference to TJ's origin in her stride. It's enough to make her curious - has TJ simply been that forthcoming, or does Tanya know more…? A light scan would be so easy.

"Yep, the mutant one." Rachel should hardly be surprised, but she still finds Tanya's reaction refreshing. And genuine. Sorry Tanya, you can't sit this close to a telepath without her picking up on some things. Rachel raises her bottle to answer Tanya's salute. "If we can keep this one in one piece for a while, who knows?" She's feeling oddly positive today.

And as for Jean's question? « I'm not sure I'll ever live it down if I DO tell you. » Rachel's doing a good job of making her mental tone sound aggrieved, but there's an undercurrent of amusement that suggests Jean will be getting the full story sooner rather than later.

"Hopefully," Tanya agrees, nodding to Rachel as she tips the neck of her bottle in the youngertechnicallyred-head's direction. "I mean, what's the alternatives, right? Alphabet CityMutant Townis great f'r' lot'a stuff, but a school it ain't. Plus, I got'a figure a school'd be better forwhat'cha-ma-call-itintegration preparedness—than just people clusterin' together. Help show the people'n both sides'a the issue that there shouldn't ought'a /be/ 'sides' to begin with, right?"

A bit old-fashioned, and a bit black-and-white, but she realizes those things, too. And it's a ase of "the world as it should be" versus "the world as it is", but if people don't act like the world should be as it should be, it won't ever /become/ that world.

With Rachel leaving a subtext hint (or is it subthought hint?) that she'll rely the story at a later time, Jean has another sip from her guinness, quite pleased as she can't wait to hear it. Sounds like a good one. "Tanya," Jean comments after having had some more of her drink, "you're a good person, something is right in the world. We're making progress."

On another day, Rachel might have gone with the glass half empty approach, snorted, made a comment about the 'normal' people not liking what they saw. That would be in keeping for the Rachel who saw the school in her own world destroyed. But today? Today Jean is home, and Rachel's talking to someone who honestly believes what they're saying. It's almost enough to give the dimensionally misplaced Grey hope that the future *isn't* out to get them all. "Here's to progress, then." Rachel almost manages to say it without a hint of irony, too, and raises her bottle to the idea, if not the reality.

"I'll drink to that," says Tanya, smiling broadly. Another quick chug of her beer, then as she sets the half-finished bottle on the counter, she adds, "I figure we all got'a do what we can, though I ain't gon'a turn down the compliment. An' if you ever need your cars worked on, here's a couple'a cards. We do out-bound services, too, if you don't wan'a take your cars up to Harlem. I atually got'a get goin', but I really,can't pass up a' opportunity like this."

As she spoke the last, she pulls a silver card case from her breast pocket, and from it she pulls out two business cards. They're set on the counter near the other women, then she gets to her feet as she slips the case away again.

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