Introducing a Home for a New Friend
Roleplaying Log: Introducing a Home for a New Friend
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Ryan brings Ombra to the Xavier Institute to meet Jean Grey

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: October 09, 2019
IC Location: Xavier Institute
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 22 Nov 2019 00:27
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It's in the mid afternoon when Ryan and Ryan's new friend Ombra make their way to the School. There journey starts off by taking a ride on the subway to Salem as it's the closest stop to the school, then from there they make their way on foot for the rest of the journey . It's late in the afternoon, the sun is about an hour out from setting to bring the day to the to the night as Ryan and Ombra are about ten minutes away from the gates to the School. As they are getting close to the school, Ryan reaches out with hid telepathy to Jean Grey to inform them that they have almost arrived at the gates. He had given Jean Gray a call to inform her about the new mutant Ombra he had met and to make sure it would be ok to bring her here and give time for Jean Gray to prepare anything she would want to before they arrived.

***

Any time she senses she can get away with doing so, Ombra takes hold of Ryan's hand as they walk. She is watchful for people that might notice her unsettling nature, moving out of sight just to avoid making Ryan answer questions, not to mention the troubled times she has personally experienced. As the population becomes more sparse, the girl-shadow holds Ryan's hand longer, nervous about the coming meeting. Assured as she is that this will be among friends, she is still anxious. About what will be thought of her, what happens if someone touches her by accident, several other, minor insecurities.

***

The Institute is an oasis in a world where acceptance is scarce and tolerance is a thing to be wrung and won from prickly, tentative minds. Like the very best of oases, it greets Ombra and Ryan with a soothing zephyr rolling across their consciousnesses as they cross the property line: safety cut with a trickle of endorphins to allay the stresses of the journey. There's still plenty of walking to do from the property line to the door, but the final leg ought to be a little easier than the rest, at least. When they arrive, the door's already cracked and waiting for them. There aren't many other bodies seen milling around the grounds, but this is quite possibly a function of their sheer size as much as the student population. Of those who are present, Ryan and his friend don't merit more attention than curious glances, friendly smiles, and brisk greetings in passing. One of them's using shimmering, rainbow-scaled tail to 'swim' along magnetic currents a couple feet above the ground; 'walking shadow' is an entirely comprehensible kind of weird, here. "You must be Ombra…" Whether Ryan and Ombra took the invitation— — or chose to wait on the porch— — or found themselves drawn towards wandering some other portion of the grounds— — Jean Grey's right hand extends towards the newcomer's. Ryan might sense a beat of psychic activity - like a fifth pea abruptly wedged in the middle of a pod of four - before the redhead steps out from the edges of their perception. Her right arm's covered in shimmering gold up to the elbow; the rest of her is in a black turtleneck and dark blue slacks with a deep green scarf draped over her shoulders. The glove is— probably for her own protection, just in case, but it does serve a secondary purpose: It's as warm as a towel fresh from the dryer against Ombra's skin.

***

There is no resistance any of the times Ombra takes a hold of Ryan's hand he understands how this can be a bit scary for someone who has never been her at before, but Ryan want to help Ombra and if her holding his hand is the best way to do that, then that he shall do. Though Ryan has only recently become part of the X-men, he has not yet had the chance to meet Jean Gray before, he has heard about her before and the stories where not exaggerated. As Jean Gray welcomes them Ryan, he nods his head to Jean Grey and as he speaks you hear a serious but polite southern accent "Thank you Ms. Grey. Yes this is Ombra and she is unable to hear your or speak due to her powers, but I have manage to talk with her using my telepathy and I think it is the best way for communicating with each other. As Ryan is speaking to Ms. Grey he too is talking to Ombra telepathically "Ombra this is Jean Grey, the head person of this school. How are you holding up?" Ryan could pick up on Ombra’s anxiety on the way here and wants to help her feel comfortable here for this is a safe place for people like her and him.

***

The shadow-girl is in awe at what she sees. Mansions are new. Mansion grounds are new. People who live in mansions with mutations? Very new! She is still a little shy, but the moment she notices the oddities roaming around, she no longer worries specifically about what they will think of seeing her. There's a lot of waving, and a lot of silence from her. Now she's only anxious about a few things. Both the visual cue and the information from Ryan's telepathic contact inform the girl-shadow that the woman approaching bears authority within this place. The sign read institute and learning. Ombra detects signs of learning. She stands in a neutral posture as the golden gloved lady approaches then reaches her hand out, and Ombra's anxiety goes into overdrive. All the assurances in the world would find it a challenge to put her at ease in the situation. Thinking quickly, Ombra decides to demonstrate something for everyone to see who might be watching. She touches Ryan on the shirt sleeve with her hand. The instant she does, Ryan takes on visual properties that Ombra has. He looks like a silhouette from every angle. When Ombra draws her hand away, the influence she imposed upon Ryan goes with it. Back to normal. Feeling that a single demonstration might not provide enough information, she repeats the effect twice more. Then, and only then, does Ombra meet Jean's gloved hand, and with that touch, Jean experiences sudden and complete silence. Along with the darkness. While she can still see perfectly fine, the world of sound simply stops interacting with her. No sound goes in, nothing comes out. With handshake done, Ombra withdraws again quickly, and restores Jean Grey to her previous non-Ombra-like state, with an apologetic body posture.

***

«I don't really have a title at the Institute; I pitch in wherever I'm needed.» The mutant with vividly red hair has a very firm grip for having such seemingly delicate ha— … ….. ……… … . .! Tiny flames bubbling up near the ends of Jean's hair briskly roll towards the crown of her head, as Ombra lets go as the black veil they were meant to banish is withdrawn. Fading shadows reveal wide, emerald eyes and unpainted lips drawn around wordless surprise. Her next breath shivers in the air, then those eyes flutter through another beat. Slowly, she breathes in. «No.» Fearlessly, she reaches for Ombra's shoulders. Her right arm's wreathed in flame up to the elbow for a split-second, but the only heat radiating from it is as gentle as a pad laid across strained, aching muscle. By the time contact is made - if contact can made, of course - the fire's gone and so is the glove. «Don't apologize, Ombra: this is who you are, and it's perfect. My name is Jean; Ryan mentioned that you needed a safe place to stay— is that right?»

***

Ryan lets out a sigh of relief in his mind, for in truth he was not sure who Ms. Grey would respond to Ombra's effect when she touches another person, but seeing how Ms. Grey is acting now brings some relief to Ryan, for he really wants this to go well and to be able to help Ombra as the X-Men did for him. As Ms. Grey ask the question of needing a place to stay Ryan speaks to Ombra and Ms. Grey "Go ahead Ombra there is no need to be afraid here, these people and good and can help you just as they help me." Ryan is trying to help assure Ombra as he remembers when he first arrived at the here it was a bit … Overwhelming to say the least.

***

When the Lady Grey's mind touches Ombra's, it's a mess of anxiety, worry, loneliness, hope, friendliness, and echoes of pain both physical and mental. The withdrawal carries with it fear more of what will be thought than reprisal. She fears no pain. Fears no fire. That worry, that anxiety melts the instant Jean reaches again for another moment of contact. Her hands clasp around bare shoulders, the girl to which they are attached seems to lean into them. Her thoughts ebb and flow, almost constantly active about something. Apology for what happens with a touch. Gratitude with the retry, for the acceptance, and most of all the physical contact, something she finds so rarely welcomed with people around her. Also awe at the fiery light show. Ombra's hands rest on the ones touching her shoulders, and there is distinct caution regarding what happens to nonliving things that she touches for too long. A very recent casualty of that effect being Ryan's jacket, which allegedly "vanished" according to what Ombra believes happened. She really does not know why it happens. Worry plays at her again as 'a place to stay' is brought up. Without home, without food, without clothing, without shelter, she has just existed without such things for a period of time she does not fathom, she has not kept track. There are distinct traces of a recent emotional release, catharsis, and a burden of pent up sorrow flowed from her leaving only echoes of what it did behind. Ombra sees the countless objects that surround her here. Every single one would be in danger of being lost forever with but a little time in contact with the girl-shadow. She yearns for a place she belongs. She does not want to bring her numerous burdens upon kind strangers.

***

Let's find a place where you're comfortable, huh? This thought's shared with Ryan and Ombra too, but it's less than language, more of an idea; a request without words, like a Google Memory Search. It's a simple idea, request, search— simple on its face, anyway: 'gently encourage Ombra's mind to share a place she remembers fondly, so that Jean's mind can seize it and blow it up 'til it's big enough for the three of them to share— to live in, if only for a conversation'. If there is no such place, then the mansion and its grounds will have to suffice— though, even then, the party will find eventually themselves in a den furnished with antique wood and plush chairs, after a walk that could've just as easily been seconds as minutes. «We can accommodate a wide range of metaphysiological concerns, here — we have access to state of the art medical and science facilities, and one of the world's leading experts on metahumanity is on the payroll,» she promises after the young woman's conflicted yearning pricks her psyche. «And — well, obviously, every person's gift is different, but I can pretty confidently say that control issues presenting as permanent manifestation are— well, they're not rare. There's often a psychic component to X-Gene derived metatalents, so on top of the emergent nature of the field, there's the wealth of potential emotional and/or psychological triggers for insufficient control that ought to be— » Jean freezes for a moment. Freezes, utterly, with nary a breath nor a blink. «… sorry— mind started wandering, and I think our expert's enthusiasm started rubbing off on— anyway!» She claps her hands together, then lightly rests the backs of a few fingers against Ombra's arm. «We can figure out a way to work with your abilities for as long as you need, and we're prepared to help you learn how to control them better than you do now,» she assures. «Assuming that you want to stay here, anyway. How did you and Ryan meet?»

***

Ryan can feel Ombra's emotions and it fills him with a desire to help Ombra even more, for he knows what it’s like to feel pain in more ways than one. As this desire to help fills inside of him he is left to wonder how he can help here with the situation now. As Ryan wonders how he can help and listening to Ms. grey words, he is just astounded by how well she speaks, her kindness, and her power, for Ryan is nowhere near her level with his telepathic abilities, or her ability to use words in such a magnificent way that could spark a flame of hope in anyone who herd her like that. As Ms. Grey ask how did He and Ombra meet, his thoughts think back to Union Square chess tormentor where Ombra and Captain America had their match and to the conversations with Ombra afterword’s under the tree and the hug they had and how much it meant to her and help. That is when Ryan goes and grabs Ombra's, hand letting himself get engulfed by Ombra's shadow and silence that comes with it, he does not care about the silence but this gesture will help Ombra in some way. There is a moment before Ryan speaks using his telepathy "You do not need to worry about being a burden Ombra for you are not a burden, you are like me, Ms. Grey here, and the rest of us hear at the institute, we all are like a family and we help one another through all hardships. So please do not think that way or feel like you are a burden, because you are not."

***

For Ombra, the place she most cherished before her world stopped working right was her home, her room, a place she misses being, wants to be again, and according to the active thought that flows, cannot return to. The high school senior's living arrangements with her parents is nothing special. She focused a lot on her studies and that is reflected in the decor. It brings a mix of sadness and joy for Ombra to see it again, and there is a little confusion as to how she got there. Probably the lady Grey. And the Lady Grey's diatribe, she follows. As Ryan also assures her, she has doubts. She's overwhelmed. She's not ready for the sort of help she needs yet. But she doesn't understand that. All she knows is the horrors. The prospect of being here, she finds all too appealing, but only because it would accord her untold opportunities to befriend. She can tell it would be easy to accomplish and she craves that. She conveys the many times her efforts to befriend ended in pain. Mostly gunshots that she couldn't hear. Some others. Each one just didn't last. The bullet she would feel for a time, then it would vanish, and then she would heal over quickly. So she could try again soon.

***

«I can't promise that that'll never happen again,» Jean sadly murmurs amidst a swirl of cordite, muzzle flash, and searing nerves, «but it won't happen here.» When she wraps the young woman's hand in both of hers, there are no infectious shadows. Now that they're ensconced Ombra's memory of home, what would be — still is, by all rights — a 'murmur' in scare-quotes, an approximation of speech beamed directly into Ryan and Ombra's language centers comes right from Jean's mouth, in Jean's voice. «You'd definitely have to see Dr. McCoy before we could get you into a bed - if only so we can start trying to get a handle on how to make sure your furniture won't mysteriously, yet inevitably disappear - but as Ryan can tell you, he's very friendly. Otherwise, it's… everything is in your hands. Charles Xavier founded this place to give people like us somewhere safe, where they could learn how to manage their powers and not feel quite so alone in the world. He believed that humans and posthumans belonged together, instead of separating themselves with fear, and hate, and misunderstanding, so the Institute's meant to help those who want to learn how to live in the world as mutants— well, do that, too…» The distant chatter of someone's television filters out of some mixture of Ombra and Jean's psyche's, through the bedroom door while Jean squeezes the younger woman's hand so tight that she can practically FEEL it. «… but the only thing you're REQUIRED to do, should you stay here, is to treat everyone - here, outside of here, both - with courtesy— like people. It's up to you, though— what do you want to do?» Following a beat, she adds, «Dr. McCoy loves chess, too, so I bet he'd be excited to meet you even if you didn't represent a fascinating curiosity for him to wrap his mind around,» with a broad smile. For Ombra, it radiates the warmth of an oven running at full bore while the clock ticks towards dinner. For Ryan, it's sheer gratitude for having hopefully brought a lost soul to the place she needs to be.

***

This is something Ryan has not experienced in so long he can’t remember the last time he felt gratitude from someone, then the thought of Dr. McCoy comes to his mind and even Ryan can’t help but smile "That is an understatement, Dr. McCoy is one of the most friendliest, kindest, gentlest, and brilliant man I have ever met, you would love him." As Ryan finishes talking about Dr. McCoy his mind wonders on how else he can help convince his new friend Ombra to stay and accept Ms. Grey's offer for he knows that this place is just what Ombra needs and can give her what she is looking for, friendship, family, acceptance, and so much more. "I know that the times in the past you have tried to make friends have gone bad for you, i understand that pain for i too experienced it myself in my own way, but here it will not be lake those times Ombra here you will find friendship, kindness, a home and more. you told me when we met that you want to meet more people who won't run away or shoot you when they see you and here is this place." Ryan holds out his hand towards Ombra in a warm and inviting gesture. "Please Ombra will you stay here with us Ombra and become part of a new family?" As this is happening Jean Grey can pick up Ryan's emotions, he badly want to help Ombra and wants her to stay and get the help she needs and to have the h0me and family she deserves, just as he got lucky enough to get with them.

***

« Stop this » Ombra's mental voice flows as she hears things, really actually hears them for the first time in longer than she can feasibly count, with Jean's help. It tips the balance. Too much. « I know a little bit already. Nothing bigger than me vanishes. I can sleep in a car. Or on some soil. I'm okay with doing that. I don't get cold. » She understands what Jean wants to do, wants to give her. She also is aware of the falseness. The moment Jean's mental avatar touches hers, she collapses, crying. « Thank you but please, no more. » The ideals, the notion of treating all as people, as friend, Ombra seems to have an innate understanding for. She wants very much to be able to befriend anyone. That didn't happen before she became a shadow, but it certainly helped push her toward that goal. « I don't know what I want to do yet. I'm sorry for being difficult »

***

Jean sinks too, as if there are strings winding from the pads of her fingers to coil around Ombra's forearm. She's got the wherewithal to steer herself into a crouch instead of collapsing, but once she's there she has to shut her eyes tight and focus utterly on breathing, slowly, in and out. (Silence falls over Ombra's room like a curtain.) In, and out. (Autumn air stirs a hint of Montauk daisy and sage around the trio.) In, and then out. (The porch. The porch is silent. The porch is safe. The porch is solid. The porch is real— ) «I'm sorry,» she 'whispers' once she's sure that the tears seeping into her consciousness won't feed back into Ombra or Ryan's. The next breath in would be louder than the rest, if not for Ombra. «Do you want some place soft,» she asks, eyes slitting open to fix on her fellow living shadow, «to do some of your thinking while you figure it out? Maybe you don't feel cold, but I bet you can feel 'hard', and 'rocky', right?»

***

As Ms. Grey brings them back to the real world and sees Ombra on the ground and still feeling her emotions as he kept his own mental link with Ombra. Ryan kneels down next to her and places his hand on her shoulder and speaks this both for Ombra and Jean <It's ok Ombra, you are not being difficult at all and I understand this is a lot to take in all at once. You don't have to make a decision right now or any time soon for that matter, but now you know of his place and this offer will always be available and this place will always be open to you.> this next part he only sends to Ombra mind <And know this with all certainty, no matter what decision you make I will always be your friend!> Ryan offers his other hand to Ombra to help lift her up <It is getting late, Would you like for me to take you to one of the guest rooms for you to get some rest?>

***

As the Lady Grey holds, Ombra's silent sobbing brings her closer, leaning in more. It abates before long, she is unquestionably grateful for what Jean tried to do for her, but the false hope it would instill could not withstand the crashing wave of heartbreak when it all returned. There's a hint of it even as Jean withdraws that influence over her, but her gratitude is nothing if not sincere. A look around at the present surroundings, Ombra is surprised to find herself in a new spot, but not how she came to be there. Without really knowing it, she has a kind of knack for the workings of the mentalist. She's long experienced just a taste of it. A mere shadow of the sort of things that Ryan and Jean can do. It's within her. Incredibly weak and unlikely to cultivate into anything worth mentioning. « Maybe I just need to sleep well » Ombra's mind wanders. Her mind gets to work on a solution. « A big mattress wouldn't vanish I think… but sheets and blanket would but I don't need those » Her eyes close, drawing away from Jean so only Jean's skin touches her hand. « I'm sorry, almost made your top vanish » Legitimate fear of the harm she can do even without hurting anyone directly with that.

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